Portraitfoto Maren Schwarz

Maren Schwarz

Neighbourliness – Living with Contradictions

We are all made neighbours as soon as we settle down in any form. This role thus becomes an omnipresent phenomenon that no one can escape and that is lived out in the most diverse ways. In academic discourse, however, neighbourhood/s are set to be dissociated by the fragmenting processes of modernity. With my doctoral project, I aim at revisiting the topic of neighbourhood/s from a geographical perspective and discuss them as spaces of everyday encounter. In doing so, I contribute to our understanding of living together in urban spaces. From my point of view, urban space is characterised by contradictions that are re/produced, negotiated, solved or endured in everyday life.

Research interests
  • urban research
  • critical geography
  • (creative) ethnographic research methods
  • everyday world perspectives
  • forms of living together and interacting in spaces
  • 2024
    Visiting researcher, Department of Geography, Durham University, England, January – March
  • since 2022
    Research assistant, doctoral fellow, University of Bremen.
  • 2021 – 2022
    Student Assistant, Institute for Labour and Economy, University of Bremen, Department regional developement and financial policy, research field city and region.
  • 2020 – 2022
    M.A. Urban and Regional Developement, University of Bremen.
  • 2018­
    Student Assistant, SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, University of Bremen, CRC 1342 Global Dynamics of Social Policy.
  • 2017 – 2020     
    Working Group Critical Geography, Bremen.
  • 2016 – 2020
    B.A. Geography, University of Bremen.
  • 2023
    Nischwitz, Guido; von Bestenbostel, Martin; Knieling, Fiona; Schwarz, Maren: The Bremen Region – Challenges of the regional interrelationship of the city of Bremen with ist surrounding region in Lower Saxony. In: Institute for Labour and Economy; Chamber of Employees Bremen (Ed.): Labour and Economy in Bremen, 43th edition.
  • 2022
    Cartographies of Low German (with Leyla Olberding), Exhibition: Bremen talks – An Exhibition on Multilingualism in Bremen, Focke Museum Bremen (awarded at the competition of the Bremen Parliament: Best op Platt).
  • 2021
    Audio-walk Peat in Findorff (with Paul Matuszewski)

  • 2019
    Scientific Comic Rotkäppchen und die Wölfe (mit Finja Beukemann und Lisa Grill) In: Barning, L./Wiechers, H. (Hrsg.): Lupus Hominis – Feldforschung zum Verhältnis von Menschen und Tieren. Kritische Geographie Bremen, 115–128.
Talks, Workshops, and Events
  • 2023
    ‘Reconstructed regions of Low German’ (with Leyla Olberding), Hanseatic (city) routes – Cross-state advanced training series for Low German, Landesinstitut für Schule Bremen, online
  • 2023
    Talk How to be: a careful partial participant? at the German Congress for Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
  • 2023
    Talk Doors that make neighbourhoods? at the German Congress for Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
  • 2023
    Workshop A fanfold flyer as intermediary between field and science’ at the 7th annual meeting of the working group Qualitative Methods within geography and spatial social and cultural sciences, Goslar.
  • 2023
    Talk Neighbourhoods as micropolitical fields of negotiation of contradictions at the conference Neue Kulturgeographie, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
  • 2022
    Workshop Rethinking neighbourhoods using the Comparative Urbanism Approach at the Working Group Latin America of the German Society for Geography (DGfG), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – KIT.
  • 2021               
    Urban walk Spaces of fear (with Alena Trapp), critical urban research at handyshop, artistic residence at araum, Bremen.
  • 2021               
    Workshop Light in the City‘ (with Prof.in Dr.in Julia Lossau) at the German Congress for Geography
  • 2021               
    Urban excursion Informality in Bremen (with Fritz Limberg) in Latin American Research in Dialogue, Hochschule Bremen.
power and resistance

“Michel Foucault says: “Where there is power, there is resistance, and […] this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (History of Sexuality I, The Will to Knowledge, 1976, p. 95)”

Gisela Febel
ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.”

Michi Knecht
hierarchy of norms

“If social contradictions are reflected in law, law cannot form a hierarchy of norms free of contradictions.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano
Afterlife of colonialism

“Contradiction comes in many different forms. None is so debilitating than when the coloniser transitions, textually not politically, to decoloniality without taking the responsibility for the afterlife of colonialism, which they continue to benefit from. Self-examination and self-interrogation of the relations of coloniality, a necessity, seem nearly impossible for the coloniser who continues to act as beneficiary, masked in the new-found language of White fragility, devoid of an ethical responsibility of the very system of White domination they claim to be against.” (Black Consciousness and the Politics of the Flesh)

Rozena Maart

“The basis of law is not an idea as a systematic unified principle but a paradox.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano