Histories of place: the racialization of representational space in Govanhill and Butetown: Article

Bridget Byrne, Lindsey Garratt, Bethan Harries, Andrew Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We argue that the stories told about the histories and nature of places, are vehicles for narrating race. Drawing on interviews with professionals and community workers in Butetown in Cardiff and Govanhill in Glasgow, we explore how they negotiated – and contested – racialized histories of place, constructing different versions or claims to belong. Drawing on Henri Lefebvre’s spatial concepts we explore this conceptualization through examination of the two areas that have distinct histories, and present experiences, of migration and racialization. In discussion of the accounts from the two distinct areas, we show that narratives of the past have a political resonance that shape accounts of current experiences of migration. Accounts of place are often related in relationship to comparisons with and narratives of other places and to global processes of trade and migration. Whilst these racialized narratives are contested, they also shape responses to social problems faced by communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-391
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2023


  • Race
  • neighbourhood
  • immigration
  • narrative
  • history
  • spatial


Dive into the research topics of 'Histories of place: the racialization of representational space in Govanhill and Butetown: Article'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this