A curation of articles, essays, book reviews and interviews on critical geographical concerns.
Sitting between the psychiatric and criminal justice systems, and yet fully located in neither, forensic psychiatric units are complex spaces. Both a therapeutic landscape and a carceral space, forensic services must try to balance the demands of therapy and security, or recovery and risk, within the confines of a strictly controlled institutional space. This article draws on qualitative material collected in a large forensic psychiatric unit in the UK, comprising 20 staff interviews and 20 photo production interviews with patients. We use John Law’s ‘modes of ordering’ to explore how the materials, relations and spaces are mobilised in everyday processes of living and working on the unit. We identify two ‘modes of ordering’: ‘keeping safe’, which we argue tends towards empty, stultified and static spaces; and ‘keep progressing’ which instead requires filling, enriching and ingraining spaces. We discuss ways in which tensions between these modes of ordering are resolved in the unit, noting a spatial hierarchy which prioritises ‘keeping safe’, thus limiting the institutional capacity for engendering progress and change. The empirical material is discussed in relation to the institutional and carceral geography literatures with a particular focus on mobilities.
I argue that there is intellectual and political ground to be gained by specifically accounting for the coloniality of infrastructure, in both its material and epistemic dimensions. I ground the analysis in the history of Recife, Northeast of Brazil, analyzing the role of British engineering in the production of the city's landscape and infrastructure, and address the epistemic dimensions of the coloniality of infrastructural by exploring infrastructural spectacle in 1920s Recife.
Drawing on fieldwork conducted at the Marcos Mausoleum prior to the controversial burial and at the protests that came in its wake, this essay examines the sense of loss and longing that has animated the rise of authoritarian nostalgia.
In this paper that draws from ethnographic research with a youth antiauthoritarian community in Cyprus and their long-term occupation of a city square, I analyze stasis as a threshold to critical political subjectivization, as productive of ipostasis (existence) that enables the subjects under stasis to appear in political terms and exercise their right to politics.
This article draws on an ethnographic approach to concrete institutional practices and machine learning algorithms to analyse emergent proactive state geographies in London’s suburbs, assessing predictive modelling in housing enforcement in respect of the government of migrant housing precarity in the interstices of rentier and racial capitalism.
This paper analyzes the abolitionist struggle to transform the carceral geographies of California’s Central Valley through a campaign to stop the construction of a prison in Delano, California. This case study shows the importance of recognizing race and environment as interconnected systems of domination and resistance. It also highlights the possibilities and limitations of engaging the state in the abolitionist fight for freedom.
Drawing on testimony of former residents and media analysis, this paper examines techniques of removal and resistance in a case study of the eviction and demolition of Cambodia’s White Building (1963–2017).
Building on the writings of homeless and formerly homeless memoirists from the United States and United Kingdom, this paper examines how the voices and ideas of those who experience homelessness are consistently removed from public debate and historical memory.
We argue that the urban institutional landscape constantly generates new promises as way of anticipation, which in turn allows residents to write themselves into select urban operations. This article engages two central districts in Rio de Janeiro and Jakarta to explore how residents “stand by” the promise, not of passive waiting, but as maneuvers of either staying tuned to or as way of tactical detachment from the multiple trajectories which have been conjured up in the here and now.
Though not an exhaustive list, these are many of the main areas we cover.
Writings that critically engage the ongoing conditions of coloniality and its effects. Entries in this section may also speculate on intellectual, political and organizational tactics that work to resist coloniality, colonization and colonialism’s effects in the present.
Examines the evolving social, ecological, cultural and geopolitical impacts of energy systems and resource extraction, with particular emphasis on the spatial relationships that structure the extraction, production, distribution and consumption of energy and other natural resources and raw materials
Chronicles past, present, and potential impacts of technoscientific development on the production of space. Provides critical looks into how scientific disciplines and industries influence how we analyze, categorize, experience, interpret, navigate, and represent that which we call space.
Investigates the spatial implications of the mass production, consumption, and disposal of digital media. Core areas of study include the environmental impacts, industrial landscapes, infrastructures, political transformations, social activities, and subjectivities particular to the digital age.
Charts the role that maps and various other forms of geo-visualisation play in the production of space. Offers a critical forum for investigating older modes of cartographic representation as well as newer approaches to big data and the politics of algorithmic and other data-driven processes.
Investigates relations between policing (narrowly and broadly understood), incarceration, and the production of space and spatial knowledge. Borders, criminalized neighborhoods, detention centers, heavily securitized areas, internment camps, jails, prisons, rendition sites, and the spatial relations that they rely on and produce are explored as sites of power and subversion.