This project critically examines the ‘transformation’ of Medellín, Colombia, through a gender lens. In a city that is globally recognised for its innovative strategies of development and reduction in levels of violence, gender inequality and violence continues to challenge local government and activists alike. Informed by feminist and critical pedagogical theories, this project firstly explores how gender has informed the policies, planning and successes of the urban transformation and secondly, examines the lived (gendered) experience of the city space. I am particularly interested in the contradictions and fractures that exist between policy and the lived experience.
Using a feminist ethnographic approach, sustained engagement with the urban space provides a rich insight into the lived experience of the city. Through engaging with representatives of local government, social movements and city residents I will provide a multi-layered account of the urban space and those who shape it. By paying attention to the gendered limitations of the urban ‘transformation’ we see how such changes continue to fall short in truly ‘transforming’ – a process that requires challenging the systems of power including, but not limited to, gender relations.