Our first issue of volume 54 opens with Katherine McKittrick’s powerful meditation on Black miscellanea – deliberate collections of creative things – as strategies for non-extractive stories of Black livingness. First delivered as the 2021 Antipode AAG Lecture, McKittrick’s essay pushes radical geographers to engage with Black aesthetics and to dwell with ambivalence as a way to refuse Black abjection. We are thrilled to publish the Clyde Woods Graduate Student Paper Award* this year by Kaily Heitz. This study of the Oakland-based photographer Sunflower Love through what Heitz calls the “Black geographic image” disrupts gentrifiers’ cooptation of Black visual culture. Two more papers in this issue point to the power of counter-dominant aesthetics to imagine and enact other worlds. Carl Death’s study of Nnedi Okorafor’s Africanfuturist novel Who Fears Death argues for narratives of alternative climate futures inseparable from “new genres of the human”, per Sylvia Wynter. And Craig Fortier draws on Cree scholar Karyn Recollet to show how Indigenous peoples push against settler projects that memorialize Toronto’s Humber River while narrating Indigenous erasure. Finally in this section, the labor of middle-class mothers relocating for a “good school” in New York City is seen to be “routed to dispossess working-class communities of color, and reproduce the racial hierarchy of human-ness on which capital depends” in Maria Kromidas’ study, which makes a sobering companion piece.
This issue again underscores the journal’s commitment to publishing at the intersection of colonial regimes and everyday strategies of reworking and resistance. Theo Claire and Kevin Surprise’s paper on California’s Central Valley Project recounts this colonial-capitalist project as a hydrologic rift; restoration of salmon fisheries offers repair in the face of on-going settler colonial violence. Energy infrastructure is at the heart of on-going anti-colonial struggles in the Western Sahara, as detailed in Allan, Lemaadel and Lakhal’s paper. Wind power projects implemented by corporate giant Siemens advance Moroccan rule as Saharawi people view energy infrastructure as a tool to “to differentiate the colonisers from ‘the natives’”. Staying in North Africa, J.P. Aris offers an in-depth analysis of migrant reception centers in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, which double as spaces of border security and control. These spaces exist on a continuum of carceral humanitarianism that governs more people than prisons and penal institutions worldwide. Hanno Brankamp argues for camp abolition as the most viable political strategy in the face of failed reforms to end carceral humanitarianism, based on long-standing research in refugee camps in Kenya. From camps to socio-spatial exclusions, Cooper-Knock and Super offer a unique study of “civic-led banishment” in South Africa. A spatial other to imprisonment, their analysis expands upon carceral geographies and pushes abolitionist calls in new directions.
Geographers continue to grapple with the shifting forms of neoliberal economic governance. Two papers that offer significant contributions to that project are included here. Brett Christophers contributes a stellar analysis of the post-2008 housing fallout in the United States, focusing on the nefarious role of institutional investors in accumulation by dispossession. With characteristic acuity, Christophers outlines how the State enabled this massive transfer of value through the anti-social policy of “de-risking”. Cumbers and Paul offer another angle on the State in these “mutating neoliberal” times. Their study of remunicipalisation – or returning privatized assets to public ownership – argues for conjunctural analysis of these processes towards progressive political ends.
Platforms and their “social lives” remain key domains of radical geographical scholarship. Two powerful contributions to this field are in this issue. Williams, Kamra and collaborators deliver an intimate portrait of “domestic digital spaces” – friend and family WhatsApp groups – where right-wing, Hindu nationalist politics dominate and dissenters are disciplined or excluded. David Bissell contributes a valuable ethnographic portrait of platform labor through the notion of anaesthetic politics, or workers’ tactics to refuse affect or feeling in their highly precarious jobs. Finally, embodied politics are also at the heart of A.C. Davidson’s study of cycling politics in Los Angeles. The paper advances the material metaphor of “cycling lungs” to understand the classed, raced and gendered dimensions of mobility justice.
An incredible start to our volume, we hope our scholarly and activist communities benefit from these diverse insights into the radical geographic project. As always, we thank our extraordinary Managing Editor, Andy Kent, for his work, especially his efforts in steering the journal through these pandemic times.
*For more on Clyde Woods Black Geographies Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award, see https://antipodeonline.org/2021/12/06/clyde-woods-bgsg-graduate-student-paper-award-2022/
The Antipode Editorial Collective, January 2022
- The 2021 Antipode AAG Lecture – Dear April: The Aesthetics of Black Miscellanea by Katherine McKittrick
- The 2020 Clyde Woods Black Geographies Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award – Sunflower’s Oakland: The Black Geographic Image as a Site of Reclamation by Kaily Heitz
- Oppressive Energopolitics in Africa’s Last Colony: Energy, Subjectivities, and Resistance by Joanna Allan, Mahmoud Lemaadel and Hamza Lakhal
- Ceuta: The Humanitarian and the Fortress EUrope by Juan Pablo Aris Escarcena
- The Anaesthetic Politics of Being Unaffected: Embodying Insecure Digital Platform Labour by David Bissell
- Camp Abolition: Ending Carceral Humanitarianism in Kenya (and Beyond) by Hanno Brankamp
- The Role of the State in the Transfer of Value from Main Street to Wall Street: US Single-Family Housing after the Financial Crisis by Brett Christophers
- Moving the Rain: Settler Colonialism, the Capitalist State, and the Hydrologic Rift in California’s Central Valley by Theo Claire and Kevin Surprise
- Civic-Led Banishment in South Africa: Punishment, Authority, and Spatialised Precarity by S.J. Cooper-Knock and Gail Super
- Remunicipalisation, Mutating Neoliberalism, and the Conjuncture by Andrew Cumbers and Franziska Paul
- Cycling Lungs: Understanding Mobile Subjectivity as Enfleshed by A.C. Davidson
- Africanfuturist Socio-Climatic Imaginaries and Nnedi Okorafor’s Wild Necropolitics by Carl Death
- The Humber is a Haunting: Settler Deathscapes, Indigenous Spectres, and the Memorialisation of a Canadian Heritage River by Craig Fortier
- Mothering and the Racialised Production of School and Property Value in New York City by Maria Kromidas
- No Room for Dissent: Domesticating WhatsApp, Digital Private Spaces, and Lived Democracy in India by Philippa Williams and Lipika Kamra with Pushpendra Johar, Fatma Matin Khan, Mukesh Kumar and Ekta Oza