June 29, 2017

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Megacity Fictions

June 29, 2017

Constructing the megacity through new writing.


In 2007, the human condition changed. We ceased to be a mostly rural race; the majority of the world, from then on, has lived in cities. Urbanization, particularly in developing countries, is happening at a speed ‘unprecedented in human history’.

 

The megacity, an urban settlement with over ten million residents, is one of the most celebrated aspects of global urbanization. Megacity Fictions aims to investigate how writers and artists are responding to vast cityscapes which mutate and spread at unparalleled rates, often displaying extremes of global wealth and poverty; vertical towers built on new economic wealth surrounded by sprawls of immigrant slums.

‘‘Sometime in the next year or two, a woman will give birth in the Lagos slum of Ajegunle, a young man will flee his village in west Java for the bright lights of Jakarta, or a farmer will move his impoverished family into one of Lima’s innumerable pueblos jovenes. The exact event is unimportant and it will pass entirely unnoticed. Nonetheless it will constitute a watershed in human history, comparable to the Neolithic or Industrial revolutions. For the first time the urban population of the earth will outnumber the rural.’’

— Mike Davis, Planet of the Slums.

We invite submissions that explore particular megacities, or the concept of the megacity in general. Creative writing, creative non-fiction, criticism and images are all welcome. Work will be published on the Megacity Fictions site and a selection of the best pieces will be anthologised in 2018. Visit the website for further information and submissions guidelines.

 

Megacity Fictions is funded by the CHASE consortium and is based on the doctoral research of writer and journalist Kathleen McCaul Moura.

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