Politics & Political Theory

Beyond repair: Staying with breakdown at the interstices

This article engages with the notion of ‘break-down’ as a way of going beyond claims to recover the discarded or practice repair. It experiments with ethnographic cross-pollination, setting vignettes from seemingly disparate field-sites alongside one another, to meditate on singular unfinished moments that together reflect wider dynamics of invisibility, negation, stigma and suspension at the urban interstices. From the peripheral neighbourhoods of Zaria, Nairobi, Paris, Berlin and London, these vignettes evoke shifting relationships to labour in precarious urban environments, where fleeting but situated codes, logics and deals have emerged out of seemingly broken urban worlds. Engaging with Stephen Jackson's notion of ‘broken world thinking’ and Donna Haraway's invitation to ‘stay with the trouble’, this article argues for staying with the breakdown.

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Volume 39 Issue 6

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