Johnathan Subendran

Planning Complex Cities

Mapping of Spatial Provocation, Tamil Eelam

Geographies of Conflict: Towards Liberation, Self-Determination and Spatial Justice in Sri Lanka’s North-East

Western notions of spatial planning and design are not equipped to engage within geographies of conflict and ethnocratic regimes. This exacerbates risk on the quest for justice of marginalised ethnic groups.

This research project aims to unapologetically shift the discourse, procedure and outcomes of western planning and design perspectives to an alternative approach on spatial planning and design that can unlock pathways to promote a contextualised, spatially-just and sustainable transition toward self-determination of Eelam Tamils in the northeast of Sri Lanka.

In doing so, this research:

  1. Defines an alternative-contextualised and conceptual framework on spatial justice for marginalised ethnic groups within conditions of ethnic conflict.
  2. Explore methods to recognise spatial-political conflict within ethnocratic planning regimes and propose spatial-political futures on the self-determination of Eelam Tamils in the northeast.
  3. Operationalise pathways of change toward desired futures and develop projects to manifest various spatial-political futures.

This project urges practitioners to re-engage and reflect on our roles within conditions of conflict.