Farmlab Public Salon
Ismail Farouk
Friday September 26, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission
Opening: Summit w/ Bitter Melon & Peace Through Pork

Exploring Narratives of Spatial Justice in Johannesberg and L.A.

About the Salon
Artist and urban geographer Ismail Farouk invites you to participate in an active dialogue exploring narratives of spatial injustice in Johannesburg and Los Angeles. The discussion will inform Farouk’s work developing an online application to physically map narratives of spatial justice, while also creating collections of tags to highlight patterns of spatial inequality. Farouk hopes to connect cities worldwide by creating a common visual language for practitioners, so that they can exchange knowledge, develop alliances and mobilize collective responses to local struggles. Farouk believes that sustained visual representation of spatial injustice has the potential to advance the struggle for social justice in cities throughout the world.

Farouk’s work attempts to highlight the patterns of spatial inequality associated with the global desire to narrowly define space along lines of profit. Private-public ventures are at the forefront of this political economy of space. Represented by Business Improvement Districts, they are responsible for altering governance structures within this political economy while claiming to simultaneously improve the quality of life for those who reside in the city. In both Johannesburg and Los Angeles, privatized urban management practices have resulted in areas of uneven services and a fragmented quality of life: wealthy residents and tourists enjoy a clean, seemingly orderly city; while the poor, street vendors and immigrants are criminalized.

Just Added!: About the Opening Presentation
Farmlab is pleased to host this same morning the historic first meeting between the duo behind National Bitter Melon Council and the gent behind Peace Through Pork. For five minutes at the beginning of the Salon noon hour, this trio will announce the results of their summit.

About the Salon Presenter
Artist and urban geographer Ismail Farouk is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Farouk holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art and a master’s degree in geography from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His work explores and initiates creative responses to racial, social, political and economic injustice. Using a variety of media and tactics, ranging from public performances to web-based mapping applications, Farouk aims to empower and mobilize citizens in the struggle for social and spatial justice. His work has been featured in exhibitions in South Africa, Kenya, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

Farouk is in Los Angeles as part of the MAK Center Urban Future Initiative (UFI), an international fellowship program dedicated to creating meaningful cross-cultural exchange about the challenges confronting cities worldwide. To learn more about the UFI fellows and their research, please visit

Image: Johannesburg Eviction Carnage (2005) courtesy Ismail Farouk

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