The Journal of Latin American Geography has published a pre-print of our article on the Project Muse website. Place-Based Politics, and the Role of Landscape in the Production of Mexico’s Disappeared, an article I co-authored with Oliver Hernández Lara (Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México), is the latest statement from our ongoing collaboration. We also published a guest editorial in Political Geography in 2019, linked here. Our abstract for this most recent article is below:
The Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) government in Mexico is, within the limits of what is perceived as beneficial to AMLO’s MORENA party, working in support of what have in the past primarily been citizen-led efforts to redress generalized violence. But this government’s conditional support for historically citizen-led efforts tends to neglect a wider production of social vulnerability, of which forced disappearance is a symptom. This is evident through analysis of what we call landscapes of disappearance. By this term we mean the shape given to a place, or an idealized representation of place, that facilitates disavowal of responsibility for violence by territorial authorities—which is necessary to disappear people and to perpetrate violence without accountability. Through analysis of disparate examples, we show that attention to landscapes of disappearance enables us to understand 1) how territorial authorities produce a sense of place or give tangible form to space in such a way as to naturalize violence; and 2) how activists and organizers problematize scenes in which disappearance has previously been made to make sense, and accordingly politicize disappearance. This article also promotes an approach to geographical scholarship that accompanies political-strategic theory and practice.
We also recently collaborated with colleagues in Mexico as part of the LiveCLAG series of webinars, organized by Jim Biles for the Conference of Latin American Geography. The video is linked here.