feralmap2Feral Federation reveals emerging geographies of a growing constellation of contested urban enclaves governed by non-state actors, operating beyond the control of nation-states. Military doctrine is shifting to target such cities as prime loci of impending geostrategic conflicts, recognizing the new forms of soft power that autonomous agents exploit in urban constellations outside the rule of law. The database highlights and questions the pervasiveness of this increasingly common ‘securocratic’, managerial distinction, which casts a shared sense of immediate threat in a growing list of otherwise diverse and geographically distant cities. The Feral Federation offers a collection of urban landscapes, and the attendant technologies of occupation, protest, and agonistic conflict within the feral designees, as a counterpoint to the flattening gaze of the security state.

A feral city is a metropolis in a nation-state where the government has lost the ability to maintain the rule of law within the city’s boundaries. These cities nevertheless remain connected to the greater international system through [...] trade and communication. -Richard Norton 2010

AGENCY has been scraping news sources, social media, academic texts, and official documents for mentions of feral cities, charting the use of the term and its many analogies throughout the world.

national liberated zone
grey zone
fear zone
exclusion zone
free speech zone
pirate haven
criminal enclave
free state
sharia patrol
paramilitary city
cartel city
murder city
warlord city
terror city
terror nest
humanitarian city
sanctuary city
fallen city
clan city
risk area
high-crime neighborhood militia city
martial city
vigilante city
autodefensa city
anarchist city
temporary autonomous zone ungoverned city
non sovereign city
lawless city
alternatively governed city
ungoverned territory
autonomous municipalities
separatist state
murder mile

AGENCY principals Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller discussed the Feral Federation and other emerging initiatives in our talk on ‘Unsteady States’ at CCA, available below.

Feral Federation was developed in part through a residency fellowship at the Berlin Biennale and for an exhibition at the Rubin Center in 2016. Stay tuned to this space for updates.