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Submergence: precarious politics in Colombia's future port-city

Zeiderman, Austin ORCID: 0000-0002-3694-3719 (2016) Submergence: precarious politics in Colombia's future port-city. Antipode, 48 (3). 809 - 831. ISSN 0066-4812

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Identification Number: 10.1111/anti.12207


This article examines popular politics under conditions of protracted precarity in the rapidly expanding port-city of Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific coast. It begins by identifying the intersecting economic, ecological, and political forces contributing to the precarity of life in Buenaventura’s intertidal zone. Focusing on conflicts over land in the waterfront settlements of Bajamar (meaning “low-tide”), it then describes the efforts of Afro-Colombian settlers and activists to defend their territories against threats of violence and displacement. In doing so, they must navigate historical legacies of ethno-racial politics as well as formations of liberal governance and their multicultural and biopolitical logics of vulnerability and protection. The socio-material conditions of the intertidal zone, and in particular the figure of submergence, are used to illuminate the forms of political life in Colombia’s future port-city. The struggles of Afro-Colombians to contest violent dispossession in Buenaventura reflect the racialized politics of precarity under late liberalism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Geography & Environment
LSE Cities
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 16:33
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 04:18

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