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Entangled Spaces: Towards a Conceptual Lens across Disciplinary and Geographical Borders.

Authors:
Diana
Marisol
Hernández
Suárez,
Luis
Aguirre,
Carolin Loysa,
Brenda Margarita Macias
Sánchez,
Joanna M.
Moszczynska
(editores)
Giros
espacio
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Repensando
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entrelazamientos
globales
desde América
Latina
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Entre
Ετρσι
ί
στ
Diana
Marisol
Hernández
Suárez,
Luis
Aguirre, Carolin Loysa,
Brenda Margarita Macias
Sánchez,
Joanna M.
Moszczynska (eds.)
Giros
espacio
-
temporales
Repensando
Ios
entrelazamientos
globales
desde América
Latina
Foto
de la
portada:
Alejandro
Paris
Hernández
edition
tranvía
Verlag
Walter Frey
Berlin 2019
Entre
Espacios.
lobalízación
Movimientos, actores y representaciones
de la
g
Indice
Bibliografische
Information der
Deutschen Bibliothek
Die Deutsche
Bibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation
in der
Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische
Daten sind im Internet über http://dnb.d-nb.de
abrufbar.
Introducción
Diana
Marisol Hernández Suárez,
Luis Aguirre,
Caro
lin
Loysa,
Brenda Margarita
Maceas Sánchez,
Joanna
M.
Moszczynska
9
Copyright:
edition
tranvía
— Verlag
Walter Frey
Umschlaggestaltung:
Lone
Thomasky
Druck: Rosch-Buch, Scheßlitz
ISBN 978-3-94632
7-16-5
1.
Auflage,
Berlin 2019
edition
tranvía
Postfach
150455 10666 Berlin
E-Mail: Tranvía@t-online.de
Internet:
www.tranvia.de
Impreso
en
papel
resistente
al
envejecimiento
y libre
de
substancia ácida.
Parte
I
Miradas glocales: Espacios entrelazados
y actores urbanos
Entangled Spaces: Towards a Conceptual Lens across
Disciplinary and Geographical Borders
Fabio Santos
Entre
Asunción y Ginebra. Trabajo doméstico remunerado
y redes
de
activismo laboral
en Paraguay
Raquel
Rojas
Scheffer
Making the City
by Playing — Brazilian Street Soccer and
Appropriations of Urban Space
Julia
Haß
Theory of the Athleisure Class —
On Sportswear and the
Displaying of Distinction in a Mexican Mall
Carolin Loysa
Parte
II
Nuevas reflexiones: Espacio, tiempo
y
sus
entrelazamientos
Incertidumbre, contradicción
y
retrocausalidad:
el
tiempo
y su
espacialización
Erick Limas
19
21
47
65
79
103
105
Parte
IV
América
Latina en el
mundo: Políticas
125
"
y representaciones estatales
El
`giro espacial
en
las
Relaciones Internacionales:
tres conceptos
en
un estudio
de
caso
Carlos A.
Pérez
Ricart
¿Diplomático o conspirador político?
El
plenipotenciario
Joel Roberts
Poinsett
y su
presencia
en la
Primera
República
Federal Mexicana,
1822-1829
Ricardo
Fernández
Castillo
Las
visitas
pastorales en
perspectiva hispanoamericana
Clemente
Cruz
Peralta
Vinculación y subsistencia: interacción y espacialidad
del
Consulado
de
comerciantes
de Montevideo en el primer
tercio
del
siglo XIX
Luis
Aguirre
El
Perú y
la
Unión Soviética: un nuevo espacio
en el Sur
Global
para
la
cooperación
al
desarrollo durante
la
Guerra
Fría
(1969-1973)
Víctor
Emilio Alvarez Ponce
Arquitectura y planeación urbana
en el
Distrito Federal
durante
la
primera mitad
del
siglo XX. Recepciones
locales
del
funcionalismo
Pilar Adriana Rey Hernández
141
157
Parte
III
Espacios representacionales de(sde)
América
Latina
171
Between Spaces of the New Media: The Creation of Latinx
in the New Public Sphere
Eduardo Luciano
Tadeo
Hernández
El
romanticismo político
en la
prensa "literaria"
de
México
y Colombia
(1848-1898)
Diana
Marisol Hernández
Suárez
las
Aguas
do
Mesmo
Rio
de
Giselda Leirner:
entrelaçamentos transnacionais femininos
na
escrita
do
Holocausto
Joanna M.
Moszczynska
El
Mundial
del 78
y
la
crítica
de
derechos humanos desde
la
perspectiva
de la
dictadura argentina
Philipp Kan
dier
Mundo Zurdo
carcelario:
Entre
Espacio
para actores-
internos y espectadores-compañeros.
Ricardo III,
versión
σ3
Brenda
Margarita
Macías
Sánchez
173
189
209
229
Sobre
Ios
autores
Entangled Spaces: Towards a Conceptual Lens
across Disciplinary and Geographical Borders
Fabio Santos
Introduction
There is no doubt that space has become an important category across the
social sciences and the humanities. Yet despite the increased attention
towards space and related topics
borders, cities, etc.
, several strands of
spatial research seem to exist side by side without engaging in a mutually
enriching discussion. It is, for instance, striking that postcolonial perspec-
tives are—willfully or not
often ignored by mainstream scholarship. This
missed opportunity to connect several views on space for the sake of scien-
tific advancement forms the ground on which I aim to build my arguments,
suggesting a conceptual lens that I shall call `entangled spaces'.
The paper departs by briefly sketching the contours of the
spatial turn
and its lasting impact on sociology, anthropology and—especially—on the
interdisciplinary field of Area Studies. It goes on by paying attention to the
prominent action-theoretical perspective on space, most notably elaborated
by Martina Löw. I argue that this valuable contribution is compatible with
(and insufficient without) perspectives which stress the centrality of colo-
nialism and its legacies in the making of asymmetrical, relational spaces.
Therefore, I draw on postcolonial thought in a third step, focusing on
its intrinsic interest in issues of—and struggles over—space. Here, Mary
Louise Pratt's `contact zones' and Gloria Anzaldiia's `borderlands are a
case in point. I assert that such a combined view of action-theoretical
and
postcolonial approaches aids in understanding the constitution of spatial
formations in the context of colonialism and its aftermaths. Moreover, it
highlights the persistence and renaissance of borders as they were drawn
and continue to be drawn in unequal, colonial and postcolonial contexts. As
a result, I aim to introduce the notion of `entangled spaces'. Similar to
`entangled histories' and related concepts, the notion of `entangled spaces'
addresses the complex interplay of various actors, processes and social/
spatial categorizations. It seeks to grasp space constitutions in everyday life
by recourse to routinized practices which result from historical (including
colonial) processes that are intrinsically interwoven. Rather than a fully-
-21—
fledged theory, this notion provides a lens through which ambiguous
spaces and their borders may be analyzed. Backed by these theoretical
considerations, the article concludes by pointing to possible fields of re-
search such as the non-sovereign overseas territories more generally and
the French-Brazilian borderland more particularly.
The
spatial turn
and its (inter
-
)disciplinary consequences
Almost forty years ago, Michel Foucault (1980: 70) put emphasis on the
prevalent preference of time over space, stating that "[s]pace was treated
as the dead, the fixed, the undialectical, the immobile. Time, on the contra-
ry, was richness, fecundity, life, dialectic". Today, it is widely acknowl-
edged that historical processes, social life and cultural representations can
no longer be explained without taking the category of space into account:
"The centuries-long subordination of space to time now appears to be
over" (Bachmann-Medíck 2016: 211). Between Foucault's and Bachmann-
Medick's diagnoses lies a quarter of a century in which a profound resur-
gence of social scientific interest in space has taken place, often referred to
as the
spatial turn.
An abundance of work has been written about the spatial turn (see, for
instance, Lossau 2012; Löw 2013; Schroer 2012;
Warf
& Arias 2009),
focusing on different scholars and disciplinary traditions. What unites most
works is a fundamental critique of the scientific blindness to spatial issues
and an enriching re-reading of spatial thinking in the works of scholars
such as Georg Simmel (2010 [1903], 1995 [1908]) and Henri Lefebvre
(1974) who are regarded as influential forerunners of the
spatial turn.
Lefebvre, in particular, was among the first to conceive space beyond con-
tainer-like images of space, combining his reflections on the production of
space in everyday life with a critique of capitalism. His understanding
of space as relational is now being used and refined by a variety of re-
searchers across disciplines, and the traditional notion of space as a herme-
tically sealed container (often equated with allegedly homogeneous nation-
states, cities or `cultures') has come under severe attack.
Importantly, the refusal of `naturally given' spaces and borders inherent
to most strands of the
spatial turn
has significantly questioned the formerly
somewhat self-evident objects and regions of study across several disci-
For a comprehensive overview of Lefebvre's work,
see
Shields 1999.
—22—
plines. With sociology being conventionally understood as the discipline of
and for the self-proclaimed `modern' West, anthropology came to study the
`Other', thereby filling the "savage-slot" (Trouillot 2003; see also Randeria
1999). Despite some spatial re-arrangements—anthropologists have begun
to "move beyond naturalized conceptions of spatialized `cultures" (Gupta
& Ferguson 1992: 16) and rightfully study all over the world (Burawoy et
al. 2000; Marcus 1995), while sociologists have started to establish a "So-
ciology for the whole world" (Connell 2011; see also Bhambra 2014;
Bhambra & Santos 2017; Costa 2014)
it is not hard to find universi-
ty departments which continue to work in accordance with these old-
fashioned disciplinary and regional divisions.
Perhaps even more profoundly than sociology and anthropology, Area
Studies scholars had to re-think their previous conflation of space and terri-
tory: "The trouble with much of the paradigm of area studies as it now
exists is that it has tended to mistake a particular configuration of apparent
stabilities for permanent associations between space, territory, and cultural
organization" (Appadurai 2000: 7). What should, what can Area Studies do
in the face of such radical transformations that revise old myths? Though
"each of us is more or less condemned in greater or lesser measure to Area
Studies", as Sanjay Subrahmanyam (1997: 761) demonstrated, it might be
useful and necessary to "free ourselves from our self-imposed straitjackets"
(Subrahmanyam 1997: 743) by transcending fixed `areas' and by drawing
connections between and across different parts of the world.
Such an approach is now increasingly gaining ground in academia. Re-
search agendas such as the one put forward in this edited volume and by
the International Research Training Group
Entre
Espacios
more generally,
impressively demonstrate a shift in perspective, analyzing
"tanto
las
vinculaciones transnacionales
y
transregionales en
las
Américas como
las
interacciones
con
otras regiones, europeas
y
no
europeas"
(Alba, Braíg,
Rinke, Simson & Zermenó 2013: 9). Blind spots, less studied articulations
of globalization and unexpected interdependencies within and beyond the
Americas are brought into focus,
"ya
que
no se
parte
de
una unidad estática
de
espacio"
(Alba et al. 2013: 11). Programs such as
Entre
Espacios
show
that Area Studies are not doomed with the rise of the
spatial turn,
but that
they can actually make important contributions by maintaining their regio-
nal expertise and, at the same time, widening their concept of space (see
also Mintz 1998).
The contributions in this volume indicate that interdisciplinary research
in times of spatial upheaval can lead to innovative results. Though hinting
at empirical examples and possible fields of research, the main goal of my
—23—
own contribution is to offer a conceptual vocabulary for
and on the basis
of—spatial and postcolonial research. A closer look reveals that the two are
intimately intertwined, but only rarely brought together, especially with
postcolonial perspectives being left out in some major works of spatial
research.
Space from an action-theoretical perspective
When Martina Löw published her monograph
Raumsoziologie
in 2001, it
was among the first of its kind in Germany where theorizations of space
were facing stronger reluctance than elsewhere.
Z
Due to National Socia-
lism's expansionist policies and its crude discourse of a `people without
space'
(Volk
ohne Raum),
the notion of space was historically charged,
having a negative connotation. Clearly distancing herself not only from
such misusages, but also from absolutist conceptions of space
3
more gene-
rally, Löw established a spatial sociology on the basis of a relational under-
standing that sees space as engrained in social action and, as such, as pro-
cessual. According to her conceptualization, "space can be seen as
a rela-
tional ordering of living entities and social goods"
(Lbw 2008: 35, italics
in original). This relational ordering is constantly re-constituted in every-
day life by two processes that Löw distinguishes analytically:
spacings
and
operations of synthesis.
Spacings,
according to Löw, usually imply the physical placement of
social goods and living (usually human) beings in relation to other goods
and beings; they are materialized in practices such as building, erecting and
positioning. Importantly,
spacings
take place in tandem with
operations of
synthesis
in which social goods and people are linked, imagined or remem-
bered in perception or analysis. In practice, these two processes go hand in
hand, "the operation of synthesis is linked to processes of placement and
the other way around" (Löw 2016: 189). For instance, while building a
bridge across a river is more of a
spacing
process, it must first of all be
imagined and planned by government officials, architects, and others. Also,
a bridge and Its surroundings—rivers, buildings, cars, etc.—might be syn-
2
Especially in Geography, there are earlier works re-conceptualizing space (e.g.,
Wer
-
len
1995, 1997). From a sociological viewpoint, however, Löw played a pioneering
role.
s
Absolutist notions are most commonly characterized by their view
of
space-as-contai-
ner. Thus, they include spatial concepts which
solely
refer to Euclidian geometry.
—24--
thesized in standardized or discrepant ways, depending on the literal posi-
tion of the person in question: Am I allowed to cross this bridge? Am I
afraid of heights? Do I work right next to the bridge? Does it have any
practical relevance for my own life? Such questions might be answered
differently and the ways in which people respond to them influence not
only how concrete places such as a bridge are imagined, but also if and
how they are actually used.
Impressively expanding existing social theory—most notably Anthony
Giddens' theory of
structuration
(1984)—, Löw suggests that there is a
"duality of space" by which she refers to a reciprocal influence of spatial
structures and action: By means of daily routines—that is, regular social
practice including
spacings
and
operations of synthesis—,
spatial structures
become more or less stable and institutionalized; these very same spatial
structures, in turn, stabilize human action. Intrinsically twofold, this duality
is better understood as a mutual conditionality instead of an opposition or
dichotomy. While constitutions of space can
mn
smoothly, there might be
ruptures, too. Sticking to the example, one might think of a `smooth'
bridge
one that is used and thought of in similar ways by a variety of
actors. However, it is also possible to think of an unequal access to a bridge
as well as of diverging opinions and unintended consequences originating
from an unsolicitous planning process. As the "constitution of spaces in
action
(...)
takes place in processes of negotiation with other actors" (Law
2016: 191), there is always room for conflict as well as for social and spa-
tial change:
As a result of conscious and intentional confrontation with the conditions of
life, due to physical desire, other people's manner of acting, or conditions of
strangeness, deviations from routines arise, or situations can emerge that can-
not be coped with by applying available routine actions. Changes emerge
when routines are not merely varied, but rather old habits are replaced by
new routines. If this happens regularly, collectively, and with reference to re-
levant rules and resources, institutionalized spaces and spatial structures can
be changed. The creation of one's own institutionalized arrangements is a
tendency countervailing dominant culture, and is called countercultural. It
opens individual options for action, can—as does opposition in general—lead
to changes to social structures, but can also confirm them through violation.
(Löw 2016: 190-191)
With the opening of a new bridge, for example, people may avoid time-
consuming detours. If we think of a bridge across a river, then former ways
of passing a river may leave people unemployed, in this case ferry and boat
-25
operators. People's habits can change in tremendous ways, but they can
also remain unchanged if people decide not to use the bridge or if there are
costs or other restrictions related to the crossing.
One can think of so many other manifold ways in which spaces are
constituted, changed and contested. Crucially, Löw (2016: 39) reminds us
that "groups of people can, for example, constitute a space that is not
bound to the surface on which they stand. Various social sub-groups can
generate different spaces on the same ground. None of this can be ex-
plained through a purely territorial concept of space". As a result, people
can constitute a space despite and across a seemingly `natural' border such
as a river—with or without the existence of a bridge. By means of their
everyday routines, memories and relations to people and goods on the other
side of the riverbank, they can imagine and actively construct space beyond
territorially-based concepts of `here' and `there'. Notwithstanding, spaces
coinciding with territorial demarcations do exist and form one of innume-
rable other spatial formations.
In any case, Ldw's action-theoretical concept of space aids in under-
standing space as relational and processual, as inherently embedded in
social action. As a consequence, spaces can overlap, they can span borders
and wide distances, and they can also be quite contradictory. They are,
unambiguously, in flux. While underscoring the interrelationship between
space and social inequality more generally (e.g., Löw 2016: 210-218)
4
,
Ldw's elaborate theorization seems to overlook postcolonial approaches. In
a similar vein, myriad conventional narratives about the
spatial turn
neglect postcolonial studies even though they "have always been spatial to
some degree"
(Soja
2011: íx). In what follows, I aim to shed light on the
insufficiently recognized influence of postcolonial approaches to the study
of space.
Postcolonial approaches to space
From its very beginnings, postcolonial scholarship was concerned with the
deconstruction of purportedly static spaces. In the words of Edward Said
(2003 [1978]), generally regarded as a founding figure in this field, they are
"imagined geographies": Accordingly, overgeneralized entities such as the
"Orient" are discursively (re-)produced and do not conform with the actual
a For more detailed accounts on the interrelationship between
transnational
space and
inequality, see Weiss (2005).
—26—
diversity of people and places subsumed under these terms. Formed by
Western travel writing, popular culture as well as by artistic and academic
work, "the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrast-
ing image, idea, personality, experience" (Said 2003: 1-2). In similar
fashion, Stuart Hall has argued convincingly that the division between `the
West and the Rest' dates back to the centuries-long expansion of European
colonialism in the course of which, "despite their many internal dif-
ferences, the countries of Western Europe began to conceive of themselves
as part of a single family or civilization—`the West" (Hall 1992: 197).
Thanks to firmly established oppositions such as "noble/savage" and "rude/
refined nations",
(mis
-)representations gave shape to Western-dominated
discourses which "don't stop abruptly" (Hall 1992: 221) and demonstrate
their longevity by the above-mentioned disciplinary division of labor and
geography.
It is noteworthy that Postcolonial Studies have come a long way since
Edward Said's and Stuart Hall's seminal contributions, "politicizing the
spatial perspective to such a degree that space took center stage as a funda-
mental category of power" (Bachmann-Medick 2016: 218).
5
In fact, any
theorizing about space which ignores the contributions from postcolonial
scholars is incomplete, as the vast literature on the relationship between
space and (post-)colonialism proves (see Bors
ό
2016; Castro Varela, Dha-
wan & Randeria 2009, 2010; Chambers & Curti 1996; Ddríng 2015; Los
-
sau
2012; Sharp 2009; Sidaway 2000; Teverson & Upstone 2011). With
space coming to the fore, borders
geographical, social, corporeal, episte-
mological, and others
gained increasing attention in innumerable works
(e.g., Haritawom 2009; Hofmann 2010; Lossau 2002; Randeria 2016).
Such critical, postcolonial reflections on spaces and borders are, in my
view, compatible with (and missing ín) the above-mentioned action-
theoretical works. Rather than pointing to recent contributions, I would like
to advocate a close re-reading of key texts dealing with the complex nature
of borders and (post-)colonialism. I will draw on the concepts of `contact
zones' (Mary Louise Pratt) and `borderlands' (Gloria Anzaldda) in order to
present theoretical perspectives that are inherently interdisciplinary and
enable a better understanding of the colonial imprints in spaces more gene-
Obviously, the heterogeneous field of (early) Postcolonial Studies includes a variety
of other scholars. In addition to Gayatri Spivak and Homi Bhabha who—together with
Edward Said—are often referred to as the `holy trinity' of Postcolonial Studies, a
large number of less known Black, Chican@ and Third World feminist theorists have
contributed to the field (see Gutiéez Rodriguez 2010).
—27—
rally and border(land)s more particularly.
6
Also, these notions seem pro-
mising since both denote a relational understanding of space, thus sharing
an important feature with Lbw's conception. Despite the fact that Mary
Louise Pratt and Gloria Anzaldúa published their major works around the
same time and were concerned with related topics, the two scholars are
to
my knowledge—very rarely connected in the academy.
`Contact zones'
Departing from the disciplinary crossroads of historical anthropology and
literary studies, Pratt (1991: 34) introduces the term `contact zone' to refer
to "social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other,
often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colo-
nialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of
the world today". Accordingly, due to long-term processes of negotiation
and mutual influence between people who have been formerly geographi-
cally separated, new spatial formations arise and persist, usually under
conditions of inequality. Pratt
choses
the `contact'-perspective due to its
meaning in linguistics, "where the term contact language refers to impro-
vised languages that develop among speakers of different native languages
who need to communicate with each other consistently, usually in context
of trade" (Pratt 2008: 6). Borrowing from a linguistic approach seems plau-
sible since Pratt herself works with travel literature (both scientific and
aesthetic), analyzing how these accounts established a Eurocentric "plane-
tary consciousness" through "imperial eyes", as the title of her seminal
monograph, first published in 1992, indicates.
It is important to note that Pratt and Anzaldúa developed their ideas at a time when
Postcolonial Studies was not yet a fully consolidated field of studies. Moreover, in an
interview (Lunsford 2004: 42), Anzaldúa has stressed that she did not conceive of her-
self as a postcolonial scholar: "I didn't even know I belonged to this postcolonial
thing until Patricia Cloud said in a book-flap that I am a feminist, postcolonial critic.
[...] For preparation for this interview, one of your questions was `Who has in-
fluenced you as a postcolonial critic?' and I couldn't think of anyone. [...] When
Homi Bhabha was here, I did some reading and I went to his lecture, which I couldn't
understand. When Spivak was here it was the same thing. I took a class with Donna
Haraway in feminist theory, and when I had to read `Can the Subaltern Speak?' it took
me weeks to decipher one sentence. Well, not weeks, but you know what I'm saying".
As will be shown later on, however, Anzaldúa has also expressed an openness as re-
gards the use of her work in many fields, including Postcolonial Studies.
—28—
While the term `contact' may invoke a more positive connotation, Pratt
makes clear that she uses this term to foreground "copresence, interaction,
interlocking understandings and practices", adding that these usually evolve
"within radically asymmetric relations of power" (2008: 7). Therefore, she
maintains that the "colonial frontier" as a space of new, often exploitative
or even deadly encounters represents a prime example of the `contact
zone'. However, Pratt suggests that the latter is a more adequate term, as
the "frontier is only a frontier with respect to Europe" and thus perpetuates
a European expansionist perspective that she actually critiques. A strong
example of how conditions of inequality in the `contact zone' are nego-
tiated is given when Pratt refers to Felipe Guamán
Poma
de Ayala's "Nue-
va corónica
y
buen gobierno",
a letter addressed to Felipe III of Spain in
1613. This letter is described as a subversive, auto-ethnographic text "in
which people undertake to describe themselves in ways that engage with
representations others have made of them" (Pratt 1991: 34). For Pratt, such
heterogeneous, often bilingual texts are evidence of the interactive and
contested nature of `contact zones'.
Despite this original historical emphasis on `contact zones', Pratt herself
has demonstrated that this concept is applicable to contemporary issues,
too. When teachers, for instance, struggle over course curricula that are
based on "a narrowly defined Western-culture requirement" (Pratt 1991:
39) at a time in which the student body is increasingly diverse, the class-
room can become a `contact zone': Drawing on her own experience after
having developed a more broadly defined course "on the Americas and the
multiple cultural histories (including European ones) that have intersected
here", Pratt (1991: 39) remembers that "[e]very single text we read stood in
specific historical relationships to the students in the class, but the range
and variety of historical relationships in play were enormous". As a result,
`contact zones'—as unequally structured spaces where diverging views,
backgrounds, etc. come together and are subject to (re-)negotiation
can
not only be studied in relation to the colonial past, but also with regard to
its long-term consequences or, in other words, the postcolonial present.
This is also shown by other usages of the concept, most notably in the
field of anthropological museum studies: Recalling his experiences in the
basement of the Portland Museum of Art, James Clifford (1999 [1997])
demonstrates the complex ways in which Tlingit authorities—invited by
the museum's curatorial staff in order to lend contextual meaning to the
objects of the collection—engaged with the items. As they "had their own
agenda for the meeting" (Clifford 1999: 189), the Tlingit members began to
tell stories and to sing songs related to the subjects, urging the museum "to
-29—
act on behalf of Tlingit communities, not simply to represent the tribal
objects completely or accurately" (Clifford 1999: 193). From this exam-
ple—and many others—Clifford concludes that museum practices of col-
lecting and display can indeed be understood from a `contact'-perspective,
that is, as contested sites of hierarchical relations.
In short, the `contact zone' has proven to be a promising concept that
helps both the humanities and the social sciences understand "how subjects
are constituted in and by their relations to each other" (Pratt 2008: 7) in
spaces of (post-)colonial reverberations.
`Borderlands'
In many regards, one could argue that Gloria Anzaldúa, the author of
Borderlands/La
Frontera:
The New
Mestiza,
was constantly fighting in and
against `contact zones': Describing herself as a "border woman"
(mestiza),
she goes on to describe that she
grew up between two cultures, the Mexican (with a heavy Indian influence)
and the
Anglo
(as a member of a colonized people in our own territory). I
have been straddling that tej as-Mexican border, and others, all my life. It's
not a comfortable territory to live in, this place of contradictions. Hatred, an-
ger and exploitation are the prominent features of this landscape. (Anzaldúa
2012 [l987]: 19)
Despite departing from the US-Mexican border
—"
una herida abierta
where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds"—, Anzaldúa
(2012: 25) transcends the conventional geographical understanding of the
border as a fixed, geographical line, favoring the term `borderland'
s
as it
encompasses relationality, ambivalence and fluidity:
In similar fashion, Noa Ha
(2014)
has argued that the Humboldt Forum in Berlin—
which wí11 have its seat in the reconstructed Berlin Palace—can be viewed as a `con-
tact zone' in which colonial legacies are reproduced rather than critically reflected, for
instance, by refusing exhaustive provenance research that would decipher each item's
"entangled heritage" (Kaltmeier &
Rufer
2017).
This is of particular importance since
the Humboldt Forum will become a museum for world culture, incorporating both the
Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Museum of Asian Art.
$ It bears mentioning that there is no consensus on the exact definition of `borderlands'
in the academy. Anzaldúa's approach is widely used in Chican@ Studies, but was cri-
ticized for having "acquired strong symbolic connotations that have hardly anything
— 30 —
The psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual bor-
derlands are not particular to the [US-American] Southwest. In fact, the Bor-
derlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each
other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under,
lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two indivi-
duals shrinks with intimacy. (Anzaldúa
2012: 19)
Blurring the lines between social theory, autobiography and poetry, An-
zaldúa's style of writing comes close to Pratt's definition of an auto-
ethnographic text (see above; Ánzaldúa herself has called this genre
auto
-
historia,
referring to "a personal essay that theorizes", see Anzaldúa 2002:
578). Additionally, her conceptualization of `borderlands'
published a
few years before Pratt's major works—ís strikingly similar to the meaning
of `contact zones'. Just like the latter, `borderlands' are significantly im-
pacted by colonialism which, in the words of Anzaldúa, has left "a trauma,
a wound which the whole country has not recovered from or attended to; it
keeps bleeding in the psyches of Mexicans, Latinos, Blacks, Asians ... all
the different peoples who have been exploited" (ín
Lara
2005: 54-55).
Emphasizing that "ít keeps bleeding", Anzaldúa focuses attention on the
lasting and reframed continuities of colonialism to this date. As one of
these continuities, she identifies the negation of Chican@ culture in the
United States, including Chican@ Spanish (a `contact language', as Pratt
would suggest; see above) as "a border tongue which developed naturally"
(Anzaldúa 2012: 77) and which she uses self-confidently throughout her
work:
Because I, a
mestiza
/
continually walk out of one culture / and into another, /
because I am in all cultures at the same time,
/ alma
entre
dos
mundos tres,
cuatro,
/ me
zumba
la
cabeza
con lo
contradictorio.
/
Estoy porteada por to-
das
las
voces
que
me
hablan /simultáneamente.
(Anzaldúa
2012: 99)
Such poetically framed, bilingual depictions of `borderlands' show, per-
haps in greater detail than the `contact zone', that these spaces are full of
conflicting, intersecting tensions, impacting on the lives of marginalized
individuals in innumerable ways. However, Anzaldúa does not depict indi-
viduals as passively `receiving' seemingly static ascriptions (Mexican vs.
to do anymore with the `real' border" (Baud & van Schendel
1997: 213).
While in-
deed representing a somewhat open concept, Anzaldúa's `borderlands' are—in my
view—suitable even for analyzing `real' borders which "reflect, at least initially,
merely the mental images of politicians, lawyers, and intellectuals" (Baud & van
Schendel
1997: 211).
—31—
US-American, Black vs. White, Woman vs. Man, etc.) as well as the
oppressions based on these labels. On the contrary, she insists on the possi-
bility of transcending such essentíalizing, dualistic thinking by developing
an epistemíc condition which she terms "la
facultad",
further describing it
as "the capacity to see in surface phenomena the meaning of deeper reali-
ties, to see the deeper structure below the surface" (Anzaldúa 2012: 60).
This means that, thanks to her in-between position, the
mestiza
is privi-
leged to develop "a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity.
She learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an
Anglo
point of view. She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural perso-
nality, she operates in a pluralistic mode" (Anzaldúa 2012: 101). Conse-
quently, `borderlands'—synonymous with the term `entremundos'—is an
inherently real-life and relational concept because it "can be experienced
and described even though its nature is change—constituted always in-
relation-to" (Sandoval 2005: xiií).
Anzaldúa has established a multitude of other concepts that are key to
her ample oeuvre and that were taken up by others in the many fields that
she influenced: "not only Chican@ Studies, but Women's Studies, LGBT
Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and other fields" (Cantú &
Hurtado
2012: 3).
While describing all these terms would go beyond the scope of this article,
it seems important to summarize that Anzaldúa established a kind of acti-
vist-artistic scholarship that is explicitly designed for further interdiscipli-
nary use so that "people can take [her] images or ideas and work them out
in their own way and write their own theories" (Reuman & Anzaldúa 2000:
5). This is one of the many shared elements between `borderlands' and
`contact zones'.
Synthesizing spatial concepts
In my accounts of an action-theoretical understanding of space as well as of
`contact zones' and `borderlands', I have already alluded to the similarities
between these approaches. While working with different examples, metho-
dologies and units of analysis, they all regard space
including bor-
der(land)s—as dynamic, relational and constructed. Also, even if to vary-
ing degrees, all concepts show great sensibility to the ways in which in-
equalities become manifest in spatial arrangements. However, rather than
viewing these arrangements as rigid, they can be subject to social—and
therefore spatial—change if actors (especially those suffering from inequa-
lities) begin to question the spaces and borders which put them in (asym-
- 32 -
metric) relation to others. This is expressed by Lbw when she speaks of
"deviations from routines" and it is also apparent as regards Pratt's notion
of auto-ethnographic texts and Anzaldúa's conceptual tools such as
mestiza
consciousness: "The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and
not react." (Anzaldúa 2012: 100-101).
Although issues of inequalities are addressed by all three authors, they
deal with them quite differently. Lbw, for example, is particularly con-
cerned with issues of gender and class, while the other two authors—
Anzaldúa more than Pratt, I would say
analyze unequal relations as they
emerge at the (post-)colonial intersections of multiple ascriptions such as
race, gender, class and sexual orientation. On the whole, however, I main-
tain that their conceptualizations of spaces and border(land)s as contested
and ambiguous sites of negotiation are compatible with each other. As I
have demonstrated, they can
and should—be brought into a dialogue in
order to reveal the common ground on which they are built. At the same
time, this combined view of (broadly speaking) postcolonial views and
action-theoretical perspectives on space demonstrates certain holes in this
common ground. Future research in the fields of spatial and postcolonial
studies should, in my view, fill these holes. In order to do so, I propose a
perspective whose working title shall be `entangled spaces' and whose
main elements and borrowings will be outlined in the following.
From `entangled histories'
...
My proposal of `entangled spaces' is not only a synthesis of the aforemen-
tioned concepts, but it is also deeply influenced by—and an amendment
to—notions of `entanglement' in historical-anthropological research (Ran-
deria 1999, 2000; Conrad & Randeria 2013 [2002]) and in sociological
inequality research (Boatcá 2011; Braig 2016; Costa 2011). Importantly,
all research strands from which I borrow this term seek to grasp global
interconnections, many of which are explicitly traced back to colonialism.
Before outlining my own theoretical lens, I will first describe these ap-
proaches.
Skeptical of the disciplinary division between sociology and anthropo-
logy (see above), Shalini Randeria was among the first scholars in the
German-speaking context to combine both disciplines and add a strong
historical perspective which allowed her to describe history and modernity
as entangled. In stark contrast to modernization theory, Randeria (2000: 92)
sets out "a perspective which foregrounds the relationality of interwoven
—33—
patterns instead of binary oppositions". By focusing on the "inextricable
entanglement of the European and the non-European world" (Conrad &
Randeria 2013 [2002]: 33), she places emphasis on the longevity of expe-
riences and interactions from colonial contexts and refuses the conceptuali-
zation of a singular, European-based modernity. According to Randeria,
modernity was constituted by the shared and divided histories
(`geteilte
Geschichten')
arising from colonialism.
9
There are a number of examples
that illustrate the roles of (former) colonies as "experimental laboratories of
European modernity" (Randeria 2000: 93) such as the roots of English
Literary Studies in colonial India or the various practices of administration
and public health which were first developed in the colonies and then later
applied in the `metropoles'. As a consequence, a decentered notion of mo-
dernity can be defined as follows:
Based on the assumption of a reciprocal conditionality and entanglement,
metropoles and colonies within an empire are to be analyzed as a
transnatio-
nal
entity in which interwoven paths of modernity emerged in the course of a
common history. Thus, the colonial modernity is conceptualized as a consti-
tutive part of the European modernization process
as its precondition and
result at the same time. (Randeria 1999: 378)
Randeria's seminal texts have marked a significant change in perspective
for the social sciences in the German-speaking context and her ideas have
been taken up by those who helped introduce postcolonial perspectives
(e.g., Epple, Kaltmeier & Lindner 2011; Gutierrez Rodriguez, Boatcá &
Costa 2010). Interestingly, her entanglement perspective has also found
usage in critical inequality research, most notably by scholars from the
international research network
desigualdades.net
.
From this standpoint,
"entangled inequalities as a product of interdependencies between different
regions as well as between diverse social categorizations cannot be under-
stood by a predefined spatial unit of analysis. Rather, what is needed are
relational units able to incorporate all (relevant) factors contributing to
structures of inequality" (Costa 2011: 16). In other words, the study of
`entangled inequalities' questions the importance of spaces in the traditio-
nal sense (as being static and conflated with units such as the nation-state),
but it does take imagined and
transnational
spaces into account, illustrated
by the Black Atlantic (Gilroy 1993). Similarly, focusing on the Caribbean,
9
Her conceptualization, then, resembles Therborn's sketch of "entangled modernities"
(Therbom 2003).
—34—
Boatcá puts emphasis on the importance of colonialism when studying in-
equality:
At least since the European expansion into the Americas,
transnational
mi-
gration, the Atlantic slave trade, and the unequal economic exchange between
shifting metropolitan and peripheral areas have provided transregional en-
tanglements that decisively shaped the inequality structures of both the for-
mer colonizing as well as the former colonized regions. (Boatcá 2011: 5)
Likewise, Braig (2016) underlines the `unequal entanglements' between
Europe and Latin America, argu
ί
ng—with reference to commodity depen-
dencies, amongst others
that the relationship between these regions is far
from reciprocal.
10
Again, the 'entanglement'-approaches highlight the
relational
character
of their objects of study, as do the spatial concepts mentioned beforehand.
Therefore, I argue that synthesizing all these approaches (not in their totali-
ty, but rather in the overall way in which they define their approaches and
look at the world) is a promising venture.
. to `entangled spaces'
The conceptual proposal which is made in this text—`entangled spaces'—
aims to grasp the complex space constitutions in everyday life by recourse
to routines and ruptures which result from historical (including colonial)
processes that are intrinsically interwoven. As already mentioned, rather
than a fully-fledged theory, I see `entangled spaces' as a lens through
which ambiguous spaces and border(land)s may be analyzed. As such, the
exact combination of theories on which one draws depends on the respec-
tive object of investigation. In some cases, it might be useful to work pri-
marily with Ldw's
spacings
and
operations of synthesis,
while also keeping
in mind the ways in which these processes are shaped by the interrelated
Similar to
desigualdades.net
,
the Bielefeld Center for InterAmerican Studies has
marked a step forward in reconceptualizing "the Americas as space of entanglement"
(Kaltmeier 2014, 2017). Based on the three heuristic approaches of flows, geopolitical
imagína
ń
es and the environment, this open notion "allows the analysis of phenomena
of transfers between regions, regional intrinsic logics, deterritorialization, or transcul-
turation" (Kaltmeier 2017: 48). From such a perspective, for example, a decolonial
and intersectional take on Inter-American Studies seems particularly promising (Roth
2014).
—35—
histories of a specific region and its people. In other cases, it might be more
fruitful to work with the tools provided in Anzaldúa's `borderlands' theory,
linking it to new approaches of how space can be relationally constituted.
Hence, the lens of `entangled spaces' is not exclusively about one theory or
another. It should rather be seen as an open-ended repository of relational
perspectives of space with a focus on postcolonial approaches. When look-
ing through this lens, I argue, one combines relational perspectives on
space in unexpected ways in order to develop a more nuanced under-
standing of how spaces and border(land)s are interconnected in complex
ways. I have sought to demonstrate that this complexity can rarely be
addressed by mainstream, especially absolutist notions of space. As such
static conceptions have been challenged by the spatial turn more generally
and by its postcolonial thinkers more specifically, a relational under-
standing has come to the forefront. At the same time, relationality has been
introduced beyond spatial research, as research agendas on interwoven
histories and interdependent inequalities have shown. Drawing inspiration
from these agendas, my proposal borrows and broadens their terminology
of entanglement. `Entangled spaces', therefore, can be studied in many
parts of the world and from a variety of disciplinary angles.
Many eyes can look through the lens of `entangled spaces'. It allows
scholars from diverse fields to get a glimpse of the interwoven, dynamic
nature of spaces. Therefore, what I see through this lens might differ from
what another person sees through it. This is not only due to the ever-shift-
ing nature of spaces, but it is also part and parcel of the epistemological
perspective of my conceptual proposal which assumes a multiperspectivity.
Similar to the insights that knowledge
per se
is situated (Haraway 1988)
and that proclaimed truths are "partial" (Clifford 1986), the lens of `en-
tangled spaces' makes it nearly impossible to observe exactly the same from
different social and cultural positions. Rather than framing this as problem-
atic, I would like to underscore the potential that lies in this multiplicity.
However, only future research will show if and how such an approach can
hold its optimistic promises. In what follows, I wí11 point out possible
fields of research, showing that non-sovereign overseas territories and their
borderlands are prime examples for the study of `entangled spaces'.
`Entangled spaces' in practice
It was only recently that scholars of various disciplines have begun to stress
the need to research the blind spots of the European Union's spatial, post-
-36—
colonial configuration. "Out of sight, out of mind" (Boatcá 2018), the
overseas territories of several
EU
member states easily escape conventional
research agendas." While `Outermost Regions' (OMRs) such as French
Guiana are fully-fledged parts not only of the respective nation state (in this
case France), but also of the European Union, those parts of the world
labeled `Overseas Countries and Territories' (OCTs) "are constitutionally
tied to a member state without being part of the
EU"
(Gad & Adler-Nissen
2013: 3). This, for instance, is the case with the French `overseas collectivi-
ty' of
Saint-Martin
which—together with its neighbour, the Dutch constit-
uent country of Sint Maarten—was significantly damaged by hurricane
`Irma' in 2017. Many of the overseas territories—whether OMR or OCT
are located in the Caribbean, which "was also where Europe first achieved
the systematic destruction of the Other" (Trouillot 1992: 20). Therefore, the
Caribbean has a deeply entangled colonial history with Europe, the legacies
of which are still apparent today due to the ongoing (inter-)dependencies
and "overlapping zones of affiliation" recently stressed by anthropologist
Yarimar Bonilla (2013: 156 f.).
In her ethnography of the 2009 labor strike in the French overseas terri-
tory of Guadeloupe, Bonilla (2015) demonstrates how collective social
action questions the complex political status of the island without opting
for independence. As one of her informants put it, "[w]e want to transform
our lives, even if it's under the French flag" (Bonilla 2015: 3). Located in a
wider (Caribbean) region where
non-
sovereignty is not the exception but
the norm, Guadeloupian workers undertook the longest strike in French
history (six weeks) to fight against various articulations of inequality which
are apparent in virtually all
départements d'outre-mer.
These include high
rates of unemployment, impressive price differentials and "the lingering
social legacies of colonialism and slavery, particularly the racial hierarchies
that persist on the island" (Bonilla 2015: 2). Despite the fact that agree-
ments were signed between protesters and the French government, the
achievements of the strike are usually regarded as partial at best. Similar
observations could be made with regard to the very recent series of protests
and strikes in French Guiana. In March and April of 2017, large parts of the
population took to the streets under the motto of "Nou bon ké
sa"
(meaning
I agree with
Françoise
Vergès (2015: 233) who uses the official term "overseas terrí-
to
ń
es, even though this terminology is problematic since it perpetuates a cartography
which the Hexagon acts as the central reference for its satellites. Today, the carto-
graphy of the French national narrative is contained within the borders of the Hexa-
gon".
—37—
"enough is enough" in Guianan Creole) and brought life to a standstill for
several weeks.
12
If some of the most devastating environmental disasters and some of the
most astonishing protests of our time take place in the EU's overseas terri-
tories, then why are these regions and topics so easily overlooked? I assert
that looking through the lens of `entangled spaces' helps connect the "little
dots that lay scattered around the globe" (Hansen &
Jonson
2015: 1) and
elucidate this "conundrum of geography" (Sharpley-Whiting & Patterson
2009). Not only does it draw attention to what one could term "areas of no
concern" (van Schendel 2002: 651
ff.)
from a macro perspective, but it also
enables in-depth research
in situ.
13
Reflecting a little longer about the example of French Guiana, one comes
to realize that it is the only continental overseas territory (Ceuta and Melilla
do not officially count as overseas territories), thereby sharing a border
with Suriname and Brazil.
14
The French-Brazilian border, in particular, has
been subject to (ex-)change over centuries. Flávio Gores (2003: 256), for
instance, has demonstrated that "[w]ith the help of settlers, merchants, and
indigenous groups, black slaves were continually migrating and establish-
ing
mocambos".
As a consequence, one can study `entangled spaces' from
a historical perspective which focuses on the ways in which slaves have
developed escape strategies, established a variety of relationships, and
created their own (temporary) safe spaces, weighing up the pros and cons
of settling in one place or another, on this or that side of the French-
Brazilian border. Such an approach could build on already existing work
which has shown that runaway slaves from Brazil were well aware of the
Haitian revolution, the temporary abolition of slavery in the French Guiana
(1794-1802; see Spieler 2011, 2013), and its permanent abolition in all of
the French colonies in 1848 (Gores 2003).
A more contemporary perspective could research current developments
in the borderland. A case in point would be the recent opening of the
Oya-
pock
River Bridge which now connects the two border/twin towns of Saint-
Georges (France) and Oiapoque (Brazil). Existing research (Grenand 2012;
Kramsch 2012, 2016; Silva 2017) suggests that conventional narratives
12
A first overview and analysis of this social movement was recently written by lam
Lain Fouck and Moomou (2017).
3
It is important to note that Randeria and Rdmhild (2013: 22-23) were among the first
to suggest the study of overseas territories from a perspective of entanglement.
14
The different trajectories of the three Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana)
have been recently sketched by Hoefte, Bishop and Clegg (2017).
—38—
frame the bridge as a symbol of cross-border cooperation and exchange. At
the same time, however, it seems that though finally `put in place', the
bridge is `out of place': On the basis of my own research, I would add that
it is a prime example of a regional planning process that disregards the
needs and interests of the local population and
instead
creates social
and spatial divides. In other words, it seems to be an `opening' which in-
creasingly leads to more `closure'. As a result, the
Oyapock
borderland
could be interpreted as an entangled space of negotiation between com-
monplace encounters and deep divisions. Locals and migrants in the region
deal with this tension on a daily basis. How exactly they deal with it would
be of interest from the conceptual perspective outlined above. For example,
how do some cross the
Oyapock
river (by using a boat or the newly inaugu-
rated bridge) without doubt and danger while others are not allowed to
cross the border and embark on perilous journeys? Which kind of border
crossings are made by indigenous people and which labels are assigned to
them (see Collomb 2013; Guyon 2013; Vidal 2000)? These are possible
questions to be addressed through the lens of `entangled spaces'.
Concluding remarks
The notion of `entangled spaces', coined in this paper, draws inspiration
from the spatial turn (whose impact on the academy, especially on Area
Studies, has been tremendous), from Postcolonial Studies, and from other
'entanglement'-approaches which are closely connected to the latter. It
invites interdisciplinary research on questions that touch upon the legacies
of colonialism (particularly in relation to the ways in which spaces and
borders are maintained, constructed or questioned) on the basis of a rela-
tional-processual understanding of space. I have sought to demonstrate that
such an approach can be backed by a surprising combination of theories as
different as Ltiw's action-theoretical `duality of space', Pratt's `contact
zones', and Anzaldúa's `borderlands' terminology. Obviously, it might be
enriched by a number of other theoretical sources. Assuming that spaces
are results of and subject to (often conflictive) processes of contact and
negotiation, the conceptual lens seeks to understand and analyze these
processes and spaces as they visibly or covertly unfold in various parts of
the world. It aims to illuminate the ways in which people (inter-)weave
spaces across, despite and because of borders, producing an irrevocable
spatial entanglement. Non-sovereign overseas territories such as French
Guiana (including their
transnational
borderlands) have served as examples
—39—
of where and how this approach could be of use. Yet despite the fact that
my thoughts were shaped by empirical studies and my own fieldwork in the
French-Brazilian borderland, only future research in these and other fields
will show if my ideas on `entangled spaces' are reasonable.
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Entre
Asunción y Ginebra.
Trabajo doméstico remunerado
y redes
de
activismo laboral
en Paraguay
Raquel Rojas Scheffer
El
trabajo doméstico
ha
sido hist
ό
r
ι
camente infravalorado y mantenido
al
margen
de
los
derechos reconocidos para
los
demás sectores
de
ocupaci
ό
n.
Su
socializaci
ό
n como actividad femenina, su
gran
incidencia
en el sector
informal,
así como
la
creencia
de
que
no se
necesita ningún tipo
de
forma-
ci
ό
n para realizarlo, han sido obstáculos para que esta ocupaci
ό
n
sea
re-
conocida como trabajo, y
en
consecuencia,
ha
dificultado que
las
trabajado-
ras domésticas sean consideradas sujeto
de
derechos laborales.
El
presente texto
se
centra
en
las
organizaciones
de
trabajadoras domés-
ticas activas
en Paraguay
desde
2008,
que consiguieron mejorar
sus
condi-
ciones laborales
a
través
de la
promulgací
ό
n
de
una
ley de
empleo domésti-
co
en 2015. A
partir
de la
literatura
de
las
redes
de
activismo laboral
se
pone en el
centro
del
análisis
la
relaci
ό
n
entre
distintos actores y
la
forma-
ci
ό
n
de
coaliciones que permitieron llegar
a
un cambio legislativo
a
nivel
nacional, descansando
a la
vez
en el
concepto
de
espacios convergentes o
entrelazados.
Se
parte
de
una discusi
ό
n
te
ό
ríca sobre
los
conceptos y perspectivas
en
los
que
se
enmarca este texto, para luego profundizar
en el
análisis
del
caso
específico.
En
él
se
presenta una reconstrucc
ι
ό
n
del
proceso organizativo
de
trabajadoras domésticas
en Paraguay,
poniendo
el
acento
en
las
redes
de
apoyo que
se
construyeron
en
tomo
a sus
demandas y
los
diferentes actores
en
ellas involucrados. Además,
se
analiza como
la
circulaci
ό
n
de
discursos
y marcos
de
referencia favorables
a
nivel transnacional, materializados
en
el
Convenio
189 de la
Organizaci
ό
n Internacional
del
Trabajo
(OIT),
sobre
trabajo doméstico remunerado, brindo un fuerte impulso
en la
lucha
de
las
trabajadoras domésticas
a
nivel nacional.
A
partir
de
esta discusi
ό
n
se
pretende resaltar
la
importancia
de la
crea-
ción
de
redes
de
activismo laboral para lograr avanzar
en
derechos
de
sec-
tores hist
ό
ricamente discriminados.
A la
vez,
se
identifican algunas contra-
dicciones que estas redes pueden contener
en
sí,
al
conectar
a
actores diver-
sos y dispersos,
con
diferentes objetivos y estrategias.
-47-
... This is of special relevance, given that this relational approach acts as a bridge to the mentioned socio-spatial theories. Hence, it is paramount to look at the French-Brazilian borderland from the perspective of entangled histories, inequalities, and spaces, as I have previously argued (Santos 2019). ...
Book
In Zeiten globaler Unübersichtlichkeit hat die Rede von kulturellen Unterschieden Hochkonjunktur. Während die einen den Kampf der Kulturen bestätigt sehen, machen sich andere für den Dialog der Kulturen stark. Der Band fasst beide Szenarien als komplementäre Strategien, die eine kontingente Welt durch die Verortung kultureller Identität buchstäblich in Ordnung bringen. Ganz im Sinne der postkolonialen »Theorie unterwegs« belässt die Autorin es aber nicht bei der reinen Dekonstruktionsarbeit, sondern macht sich auf die Suche nach ANDEREN Möglichkeiten der Verortung. Damit lädt sie zu einer Reise ein, die vom partikularistischen Welt-Bild kultureller Gegensätze über das universalistische Welt-Bild des kulturellen Ausgleichs hin zu einer ANDEREN Geographie der Welt führt.
Article
Kolonialismus ist in den Städten Europas auf vielfältige Weise für die Produktion von Raum auch heute noch von hoher Relevanz. Eine dekoloniale Perspektive bietet daher einen theoretischen Zugriff, mit dem die Zusammenhänge der Produktion von Stadt und Rassismus – als ein wesentliches Erbe des Kolonialismus – verdeutlicht werden können. Davon ausgehend, dass sich Rassismus neben anderen Regimen der Subjektivierung und Unterwerfung (Geschlecht, Sexualität, ableism) in die koloniale Matrix gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse eingeschrieben hat, plädiert dieser Artikel für eine sorgfältige Revision der epistemischen Prämissen der Stadtforschung und fordert die Perspektiven kolonialer Subjekte (Grosfoguel 2003) ein, was in diesem Aufsatz unter dem Begriff der ‚urbanen Dekolonisierung‘ thematisiert wird (vgl. zu Perspektiven der Dekolonisierung in der europäischen Soziologie Gutierrèz Rodriguez et al. 2012). Zum einen wird der konzeptuelle Rahmen der europäischen Stadt untersucht, um diesen dahingehend zu überprüfen, inwieweit er eine eurozentristische Geschichtsschreibung und orientalistische Zuschreibungen enthält. Zum anderen ziehe ich das Konzept der ‚Contact Zone‘ von Marie Louise Pratt heran, um die vorab ausgeführten Implikationen der europäischen Stadt in ihrer Relevanz für die Herstellung kolonialer Verhältnisse im städtischen Kontext zu untersuchen. Als empirische Beispiele dienen der Protest von Flüchtlingen im öffentlichen Raum und der Fall des Humboldt-Forums in Berlin.
Chapter
In this concluding chapter, Françoise Vergès offers a global overview of the politics of memory related to slavery and the slave trade across the Francophone world. She opens up a number of important questions that remain unanswered: why, given the proliferation of memorial initiatives, do they so often remain empty of real social content or function? Why are on-going racial hierarchies and socio-economic inequalities not addressed? Why does the institutionalized memorialization of slavery not recognize the myriad other legacies of brutal exploitation and colonial violence? This ‘political turn’ in Vergès’s work involves looking at slavery and indenture as part of a long history of European imperialism, predatory economics and racial cartographies, with the aim of opening up debate on social justice, equality and human rights, as well as calling for debate on reparations and public policy.
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Prologue: In Medias Res TRAVELS Traveling Cultures A Ghost among Melanesians Spatial Practices: Fieldwork, Travel, and the Disciplining of Anthropology CONTACTS Four Northwest Coast Museums: Travel Reflections Paradise Museums as Contact Zones Palenque Log FUTURES Year of the Ram: Honolulu, February 2, 1991 Diasporas Immigrant Fort Ross Meditation Notes References Sources Acknowledgments Index
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The entanglement of knowledge, space and power in Area Studies is the topic of this chapter, which aims to provide an outline for a reconceptualization of the Americas as a space of entanglement as well as elements for the decolonization of knowledge. The chapter begins with a short discussion on the emergence and dynamics of Area Studies in and on the Americas. Thereby the construction of the “area” of the Americas is analyzed in terms of coloniality. In the main part, this contribution discusses two aspects that are highly relevant to Area Studies: space and knowledge. First, it proposes a framework to rethink hemispheric Area Studies in terms of the—still fuzzy—concept of the Americas as a space of entanglement. Second, it criticizes the hegemonic geopolitics of knowledge and proposes dialogical, entangled methodologies. The chapter ends with a plea for a relational and pluri-topic Area Studies that reflect power relations and that do not fix or define the meaning of areas.