Presented By: Prof Alison Young, Melbourne University
Title: Atmospheres of Lockdown: Pandemic Criminality and Spatial Justice
Speaker: Professor Alison Young, Melbourne University
Chaired by Professor Sarah Armstrong, University of Glasgow
What are the affective atmospheres of cities under lockdown in the 2020-2021 covid-19 pandemic? To understand the atmospherics both of ‘pandemic criminality’ and ‘spatial justice’ within a city under lockdown, I draw on research conducted during six lockdowns in Melbourne, Victoria, currently the world’s most locked-down city. Several material localities are examined, including the shared spaces of the street; the domestic space of the home; the spaces occupied by or allocated to those who lack stable housing; and hotel rooms, used during the pandemic to house people experiencing homelessness, returned travellers in quarantine, and evacuated detainees. Issues discussed include the role of emergency powers in public health strategies, shifts in criminal conduct during the pandemic, the development of online criminal justice processes, and the unequal distribution of the atmospheric and material effects of lockdown across a city.