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IBS Speaker Series: “Geographies of Policing, Mythologies of Cops Fragility, and Black Rage in the Urban Margins”

November 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Zoom link: https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/98876839061 – email ibs-contact@colorado.edu for password

Jamie Alves

Abstract: This presentation focus on some extralegal and space-based forms of resistance against police terror within Latin American geographies of antiblackness. It is a relational analysis of marginal and insurgent black political life to face enduring forms of racial domination in Cali/Colombia and São Paulo/Brazil. If the space of civil society is unable to make black suffering legible and to redress racial injury, how should black resistance look like in these spatialities of antiblackness? Based on long-term ethnographic research, we will explore three related issues: a) the programs of spatial discipline aimed to curb gang violence, such as community police, evangelical crusades, and NGO's pedagogical initiatives; b) the mythologies around "cops' fragility" and the spatial praxis of black young men engaged in retaliatory violence against the police; and c) the alternative spatialities that emerge from such territorial contest. I ask: how might a focus on gang violence as insurgent politics change/expand our understanding of urban politics of resistance (usually framed through the law-abiding lenses of "the right to the city")? How is everyday life reinvented within the margins of an anti-black city? How can we ethically respond to police terror when "terror" is part of the very constitution of citizenship and its regime of rights?

Bio: Jaime Amparo Alves teaches Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His is the author of The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (U of Minnesota press, 2018). His current research focuses on racialized geographies of policing, black ungovernability and urban security politics in Colombia.


November 16, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Program on International Development