Racialization and Racism

Lush aftermath: Race, labor, and landscape in the suburb

This article takes up labor and landscape in the wake of war in an unlikely place: an agricultural suburb of Greater Miami. In Homestead, Indigenous Maya migrants displaced during and after scorched earth counterinsurgency work in ornamental plant and palm nurseries, filling U.S. subdivisions and yards with verdant plant life. These flourishing plants produce and stabilize suburban property regimes across the country. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with nursery workers and owners, community organizers, and suburban developers, this article asks: what grows after war? I show how the entanglement of state-sanctioned violence, racialization, and property produces a lucrative and injurious environmental order that emerges after war’s formal end—what I call a lush aftermath. Thinking collaboratively with migrant justice movements, this conception of a lush aftermath illuminates how domestic landscapes are transnationally produced through inner and outer wars of U.S. empire.

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Volume 41 Issue 2

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