Austin Zeiderman, Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá, Duke University Press, 2016, 290 pp., $26 (paper) $95 (cloth), ISBN 9780822361626 On the night of May 27, 2016 the recently-positioned mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, gave the order to evict 3,000 homeless men, women, and children from El Bronx, a cluster…
A review of what sounds like a must-read
In his 1991 tome on postmodernism, Frederic Jameson famously suggested that under “late capitalism” – that is, the kind of globalized, flexible capitalism that tore past the limit points imposed by earlier stages of development – we’ve lost the ability to properly deploy ‘cognitive’ maps of our environment, thus producing a disorienting effect in which what was once familiar becomes unrecognizable. Jameson’s insight was drawn from the work of Kevin Lynch, the MIT-based urban planner and author of The Image of the City, who had suggested that people’s relation to their urban environments relied on imaginary representations to properly orient them; the city, then holds a psychological dimension wedded to the repeated movement of individuals through the spaces they live in. Radically alter that space – or set off a cascade of seemingly never-ending modulations – and the ability to tap into that imaginary representation begins to decay. Jameson…
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An excellent historical context for understanding the rise of the FARC. The Roots of the FARC
Also for getting a sense of the extent to which the rise of guerrilla groups in Colombia (FARC, ELN) in the middle of the last century is related to the trenchant conservatism of its elites, with their historically steadfast resolve in countering any sort of social or agrarian reform or opening of the political system. Also for understanding how the NO vote against the peace deal with the FARC is still connected to questions of land ownership in the countryside. For anyone interested in further understanding the context for the rise of the FARC, I recommend the excellent book by historian Herbert Braun: “The Assasination of Gaitán: Public Life and Urban Violence in Colombia”.
Welcome to Last Transmission from the Land of Monsters. My name is Juan Pablo Melo. I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Program in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. In this blog I will post articles, commentaries and links related to my interdisciplinary interests and research topics. These mostly revolve around the analysis of urbanization processes in Latin America from a perspective informed by Critical Theory and questions related to the production of space, but which range more generally to philosophy, literature, cinema, and culture more generally considered.