Volume 53, Issue 5 September 2021

September marks summer’s end. This year it also marks the end of what was a pause in the COVID-19 pandemic. The fifth issue of the 53rd volume is quintessentially Antipode as the fifteen papers published here draw on diverse conceptual and methodological approaches to explore radical politics across a range of histories and geographies. We introduce the papers in pairs and invite other ways for readers to find productive synergies across the diversity of papers.

The first paper of the issue, Johannes Theodor Aalders, Jan Bachmann, Per Knutsson and Benard Musembi Kilaka’s The Making and Unmaking of a Megaproject: Contesting Temporalities along the LAPSSET Corridor in Kenya explores the multiple and contradictory ways engage and resist large scale development projects. Ilias Alami, Adam D. Dixon and Emma Mawdsley’s paper State Capitalism and the New Global D/development Regime stays with development geographies but explores the return of state capitalism and liberal anxieties around “‘big D’ Development”.

A focus on the state, or more specifically on state-sanctioned and state-imposed incarceration, is at the centre of Stefano Bloch and Enrique Alan Olivares-Pelayo’s Carceral Geographies from Inside Prison Gates: The Micro-Politics of Everyday Racialisation. While several papers in the issue focus on race, Bloch and Olivares-Pelayo’s auto-ethnography-informed methodology adds a unique weight to their recommendation that geographers take prisons more seriously as sites of research and politics.

Two contributions chart the non-too-linear paths of reparative and spatial justice. Emilio Distretti’s paper follows the Libyan Coastal Highway and its pending promises of postcolonial justice as it winds through fascist Italy to the more recent bypasses of Qaddafi’s cooperation to contain migrants. Elspeth Iralu foregrounds Indigenous feminist spatial practices that disrupt cartographic initiatives to reify and enforce Zuni Indigenous dispossession, and instead focus on unmapping techniques to assert different kinds of claims to nationhood and territory.

Antonio Gramsci’s work drives two papers focusing on India and China, respectively; Shayju C’s Non-Movement as Latent Political Engagement and War of Position: Islamist Spatial Strategy in an Indian State and Daniela Caterina’s Gramsci in China: Past, Present, and Future of a Still Open Encounter. Shayju argues that non-movement as a latent political engagement is akin to Gramsci’s notion of the war of position and explores the spatial strategies and practical politics of an Islamist group in a secular India at a time when it is asserting itself as a Hindu nation. The latter takes a deep dive into the ongoing Gramsci-China encounter to contend the many ways in which the former was and remains a crucial ally to analyse socialism in the latter.

The insights from two papers from Eastern Europe are relevant far more broadly. Márton Czirfusz’s examination of Labour’s Spatial Fix in 1970s socialist Hungary offers lessons from and for labour geography, making an implicitly feminist argument that to understand social reproduction requires moving beyond an analysis of capital-labour relations in wage work. Piotr Żuk, Przemysław Pluciński and Paweł Żuk explore spatial segregation in Poland to show that the state’s authoritarian and exclusionary tendencies are shared by a wider social order. Juxtaposing the modern populist right’s call for LGBT-free zones with the anti-Semitic sentiments of the pre-war right in Poland ,they argue that the challenges of economic exclusion and cultural discrimination must be considered together.

The two papers on remaking urban space bring together class, the state and infrastructure (understood broadly). Pablo Holwitt’s Constructing Classes and Imagining Buildings: Urban Renewal and Transactions between Concepts and Materialities in Mumbai shows how building redevelopment also contributes to building heterogeneous social identities and imaginaries. Like the papers on more-than-human perspectives, this paper also calls for analytical attention to the interactions between human and non-human entities. Sergio Ruiz Cayuela’s Bridging Materiality and Subjectivity examines how Cooperation Birmingham, a mutual aid response organised to address the COVID-19 pandemic constructs an open-ended “commons ecology” that can potentially provide material alternative to capitalist forms of social reproduction.

As their titles indicate, Eray Çaylı’s The Aesthetics of Extractivism: Violence, Ecology, and Sensibility in Turkey’s Kurdistan and Andrea Furnaro’s The Role of Moral Devaluation in Phasing Out Fossil Fuels: Limits for a Socioecological Fix explore the violent ecologies of extraction in very different ways. The Rancière-inspired former and Marx-inspired latter explore the various dimensions of the materiality of extractive violence. Their attention to the more-than-human are echoedby two other contributions. The multi-authored More-Than-Human and Deeply Human Perspectives on COVID-19 highlights the politics of difference to urge for a critical inquiry based on a coming together of materialist and anti-racist, and anti-colonial approaches to radically reimagine for multispecies futures. Margaret Raven, Daniel Robinson and John Hunter’s The Emu: More-Than-Human and More-Than-Animal Geographies reflects many of the themes in this issue in their decentring, problematising and Indigenising ways of thinking about the emu, which is endemic to Australia and one of the world’s largest flightless birds.

As we continue to grapple with the harsh and uneven realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that these papers will accompany your critical enquires and quests to reimagine and build better multi-species worlds.

The Antipode Editorial Collective, September 2021

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