OPEN CALL: Intermedial interventions in the city

Deadline: August 25, 2023

With the ‘implosion of atoms and bits’ in the digital age (Jurgensen 2012), the city is inseparable from the media practices and mediations that shape it. Urban spaces are produced, navigated, experienced, and remembered through interactive maps, social media, graffiti, and advertising imagery. The city is also the scene for combinations, transformations, interrelations, and integrations of different media. It functions as a conceptual framework and a spatial agent in comics, TV drama series, and music videos. But how exactly do intermedial processes, performances, and phenomena shape, conceptualize, and otherwise intervene in the city? We invite short contributions (max. 4000 words) on this topic, written in a creative or popular-science style, for a special issue of Urban Matters.

By ‘intermedial’, we are referring both to the increasingly hybrid mediascape in which, more than ever, ‘all media is mixed media’ (W.T.J. Mitchell 2005) and to the theoretical frame of ‘intermediality’ which foregrounds the material, sensorial, spatiotemporal, and semiotic dimensions of mediation to account for the way media interact, co-exist, and merge or transform into each other (Elleström 2010, 2021; Bruhn & Schirrmacher 2022). Bringing out the politics of intermediality, we suggest that the ever-changing intermedial mediascape is shaped by inequalities and disparities in access to media and modes of communication, and that the city is a crucial site for negotiating the right to media.

In particular, we aim to explore the relation between the right to media (Mousavi 2021; 2022) and the right to the city (Lefebvre 1996; D. Mitchell 2003; Carpio et al. 2011). We hope to illuminate how representational and performative media practices – which we understand as intermedial interventions – can produce urban spaces and unsettle or re-organize hierarchies of agency and access in the city. We are interested in how intermedial interventions function as praxes for (re)asserting ‘spatial entitlement’ (Johnson 2013) or political power over urban space, transforming the city and its relations in the process.

Possible focuses include (but are not limited to):

* urban art and media practices (e.g. murals, street performance, graffiti…)  

* the relation between new media technologies and the urban space

* intermedial dynamics in urban protests and political campaigns

* constructions and representations of cities across different media

* inequalities of media access and practice in urban space

We welcome proposals for:

* research articles of 2000-4000 words

* interview articles of 2000-4000 words

* photo essays, comics, or artistic montages

* book, concert, or exhibition reviews of c. 1000 words

Please send a title and 200-word abstract or description of your proposed contribution, plus a one-sentence bio, to Nafiseh Mousavi ( and Phil Dodds ( by 25 August 2023.

If your contribution is accepted, we will work to have it edited and published by spring 2024.

Bruhn, Jørgen, and Beate Schirrmacher. Intermedial studies: An introduction to meaning across media. Taylor & Francis, 2022.
Carpio, Genevieve, Clara Irazábal, and Laura Pulido. “Right to the suburb? Rethinking Lefebvre and immigrant activism.” Journal of Urban Affairs 33, no. 2 (2011): 185-208.
Elleström, Lars. “The modalities of media: A model for understanding intermedial relations.” Media borders, multimodality and intermediality (2010): 11-48.
Elleström, Lars. “The modalities of media II: An expanded model for understanding intermedial relations.” Beyond media borders, volume 1: Intermedial relations among multimodal media (2021): 3-91.
Johnson, Gaye Theresa. Spaces of conflict, sounds of solidarity: Music, race, and spatial entitlement in Los Angeles. University of California Press, 2013.
Jurgenson, Nathan. “When atoms meet bits: Social media, the mobile web and augmented revolution.” Future internet 4, no. 1 (2012): 83-91.
Lefebvre, Henri. Writings on cities. Blackwell, 1996
Mitchell, Don. The right to the city: Social justice and the fight for public space. Guilford press, 2003.
Mitchell, William JT. “There are no visual media.” Journal of visual culture 4, no. 2 (2005): 257-266.
Mousavi, Nafiseh. “Your Language Escapes Me!: Multimodality of a Migrant Life.” in Translation and the Global City, Routledge, (2021): 206-221.
Mousavi, Nafiseh. “Carrying stories across borders”. Media Impact, lecture series in Intermediality, Multimodality, and Media Research. June 23, 2022.