Racialization and Racism

Fatal blow: Urbicidal geographies, pax colonial and black sovereignty in the Colombian city

This article gives ethnographic form to Fanon’s warning that in the colonial world, “zombies are more terrifying than settlers,” by analyzing how racial mythologies produce spatial classifications of Black urban communities as unruly places and how Black individuals challenge their wretched condition by embracing a “program of complete disorder.” To do so, the article analyzes the short(ened) life of Paco, a young Black man under house arrest whose retaliatory violence against, and territorial dispute with, the police is an entry point for exploring resistance to urban coloniality in Santiago de Cali/Colombia. The article engages with the field of Black geography to propose a Fanonian reading of contemporary cityscapes as colonial spaces. Such colonial spatialities, it is argued, are not defined merely by subjugation to death but also, as Paco’s refusal to be killed may reveal, by an insurgent spatial praxis that might reposition the Black subject in relation to the city and the regime of Law.

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Volume 39 Issue 6

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