Infrastructure and Logistics

The coloniality of infrastructure: Engineering, landscape and modernity in Recife

Geographical scholarship has, since the late 1990s, shown how infrastructure was central to the making of urban modernity and the metabolic transformation of socio-natures. Meanwhile, the work of Latin American scholars including Aníbal Quijano and Maria Lugones has focussed attention on the imbrications between modernity and coloniality, in particular through the international racial division of labour. Moving between these ideas, 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. Finally, I explore how the coloniality of infrastructure directs our attention to race, labour and finance.

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Volume 39 Issue 4

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