Geographies & Spacialities

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

Eliza Koch

The Cupcake as Object The cup­cake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-​like” ideal should be, it is some­thing spongy, moist, char­ac­ter­ized by ex­cess, col­lapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, me­ringue, and cream. It is some­thing sickly and wet that makes your fin­gers sticky. The cup­cake is none of these…

Patrick McAuslan, or the Yes

Untitled in Tanzania, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

Professor Patrick McAuslan passed away on the 11th of January, 2014. I do not know the de­tails of his ap­par­ently de­teri­or­ating health, or of his death for that matter. I know very basic things about the whole event, and I have chosen to keep it like this. This is be­cause I do not want to close the biggest question…

Letters on Legal Architecture


FIRST LETTER (New York on July 12th 2012) /​/​/​Dear Lucy, I read your essay Archiving Burroughs: Interzone, Law, Self-​Medication with at­ten­tion and ap­pre­ci­ated, as usual, the way you manage to link nar­rative, law and space all to­gether. I do think how­ever that we should keep this text for a little bit later in our con­ver­sa­tion as its…

Human Bodies in Material Space: Editorial of the Journal for Human Rights and the Environment

Embodiment by Eric Franklin

This edi­tion of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment is ded­ic­ated to the greatest struggle of our era – the on­going – and in­creas­ingly ur­gent – struggle to con­front the en­trenched and growing vi­ol­ence (both epi­stemic and phys­ical) of a global order that is rap­idly en­trenching both human and en­vir­on­mental vul­ner­ab­ility. ‘Business as usual’ is still ob­dur­ately com­mitted to the…

The Dark Shores of Europe


This was August 2008 at Koraka’s Cape beach in Lesvos. A local farmer told me that he saw a pros­thetic leg on the beach. He said that the leg be­longed to a boy, around 13 years old, who ar­rived on a rubber boat with his family. The coast­guard were just be­hind the boat as it was ap­proaching the beach.…

The Reactionary ‘Freeman-​on-​the-​land’ and a Political Fracture

Sean Keating

The Irish Times re­ports over 100 ‘Freeman’-style ar­gu­ments used in the Irish courts this year, citing the Law Society Gazette [for the tra­di­tional legal re­sponse see here and here]. Last Tuesday, Francis Cullen (36) was sen­tenced to an­other three months in Mountjoy Prison for re­fusing to re­cog­nise the court’s jur­is­dic­tion. He claimed, ac­cording to the…

#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics


01. INTRODUCTION: On the Conjuncture 1. At the be­gin­ning of the second decade of the Twenty-​First Century, global civil­iz­a­tion faces a new breed of cata­clysm. These coming apo­ca­lypses ri­dicule the norms and or­gan­isa­tional struc­tures of the politics which were forged in the birth of the nation-​state, the rise of cap­it­alism, and a Twentieth Century of un­pre­ced­ented wars. 2.…

Eco-​Technics: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Nancy coins the term eco-​technics to de­scribe the cur­rent global politico-​economic con­junc­ture. Hillis Miller ex­plains: ‘“Eco” comes from the Greek word oikos, the house or home. The prefix “eco-​” is used more broadly now to refer to the total en­vir­on­ment within which one or an­other “living” creature “dwells”’ (Hillis Miller 2012, 66). Thus, at stake…

The Amazon Archipelago

Amazon facility Bad Hersfeld

On Wed­nes­day night prime Ger­man tele­vi­sion chan­nel ARD broad­cast under­cover report­age con­cern­ing the treat­ment of for­eign work­ers at Amazon’s huge dis­tri­bu­tion ware­house near Bad Hersfeld in cent­ral Ger­many. State par­lia­ment­ari­ans called the re­port “unspeak­able”, “shock­ing”, “bey­ond the pale”, and the Left Party spokes­per­son stated:

“We call on the state gov­ern­ment to carry out promptly and with all at its dis­posal checks of the complainant’s so­cial secur­ity fraud, the use of an appar­ent neo-​Nazi secur­ity com­pany through Amazon and the inhu­mane place­ment in a so-​called ‘resort’”.

Bad Hersfeld backs up against the old bor­der with East Ger­many at the point, the Fulda Gap, which the US determ­ined was the prime stra­tegic entry point for Soviet forces in any inva­sion of Europe. As a con­sequence this wooded up-​country be­came a back­wa­ter of barbed wire and check­points after the war. It is here that Amazon has had built one of its massive dis­tri­bu­tion centres for Ger­many, and it is here that under­cover report­ers infiltrated.

The Right against the City

Golden Dawn supporters on the streets

“Reclaim our cities”. “Self-​organise”. “Take neigh­bour­hood ac­tion”. Consider these slo­gans for a mo­ment. Sound fa­miliar? Indeed they should, echoing as they do a body of schol­ar­ship (e.g. Amin & Thrift, 2005; Butler, 2012; Chatterton, 2010; Dikeç, 2001; Harvey, 2003; Leontidou, 2006, 2010; Marcuse, 2009; Mayer, 2009; Simone, 2005) stem­ming from Henri Lefebvre’s idea of the Right to the City (Lefebvre, 1996; hence­forth RttC). Despite this common origin, in­ter­pret­a­tions of the Lefebvrian “right” have been most di­verse; per­haps his own often-​times ab­stract writing has in­ad­vert­ently caused this schol­ar­ship to reach out­side the con­fines of his own polit­ical al­le­gi­ance and thought: ten years ago, Mark Purcell (2002) pro­tested that the ori­ginal RttC no­tion was more rad­ical than his own con­cur­rent lit­er­ature would make it ap­pear. But today, a re­formist in­ter­pret­a­tion of Lefebvre might be the least of the wor­ries we are faced with here, on the south-​eastern shore of the Mediterranean that is the Greek territory.

The Criminalisation of Political Dissent: Huckstering the Law

William Hogarth Illustrations for Samuel Butler's 'Hudibras' Plate 11 Burning Ye Rumps at Temple Bar

The sub­ver­sion of law be­gins with the re­duc­tion of politics to a crime.1 What is never ques­tioned is the bour­geois state of law upon which modern cap­it­alism de­pends. This re­mains the sacred cow that even the most rad­ical critics from the likes of Occupy Wall Street and the World Social Forum dare not touch.2 On October…

Australian government asked to leave aboriginal community


Just over five years ago, on 21 June 2007, Australia’s then prime min­ister John Howard an­nounced that rates of child sex abuse in the country’s Northern Territory ab­ori­ginal com­munities were so high that they con­sti­tuted a na­tional emer­gency. Drawing on the fed­eral government’s con­sti­tu­tional power to over­ride Territory le­gis­la­tion, and sus­pending Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975, Howard…

Health, Safety and Publicness: Athens, August 9 – 14, 2012


Five days in Athens. Five very varied days. I used to fre­quent Athens as a teen­ager with my par­ents. We were al­ways transit vis­itors, en route to Kano, Nigeria where my late father used to work. Those visits where quick, two days in Athens, vis­iting an­cient monu­ments, mu­seums, tav­ernas, cafes, friends, and re­l­at­ives. You see, post 1974…

Capturing The Social Sciences: An Experiment in Political Epistemology

Bee Orchid

According to the title that iden­ti­fies this panel, we are here to enter into a dis­cus­sion around the pro­ductive powers of some­thing called “crit­ical theory”. At first sight, cri­tique and pro­ductivity might strike anyone as being op­posite terms. Isn’t cri­tique re­lated to a cer­tain form of neg­at­ivity? To saying “no” to power? And isn’t the de­mands for cap­it­al­istic “pro­ductivity” what some of us cri­ti­cise, or at least at­tempt to do so?

The title of this panel, how­ever, seems to put such a taken-​for-​granted re­la­tion­ship at risk. “The Productive power of crit­ical theory”– can we think of a pro­ductive crit­ic­ality? or a crit­ical pro­ductivity? What might it mean to en­gage in a form of critical-​productive thought and how might such en­gage­ments con­tribute to chal­len­ging and trans­forming our knowledge-​practices within the so­cial sci­ences and the hu­man­ities? These are some of the ques­tions with which I will at­tempt to ex­per­i­ment in what follows.

To be sure, these ques­tions are not new, and many re­searchers and thinkers in the so­cial sci­ences and the hu­man­ities are be­coming in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in them, to the ex­tent that ar­gu­ably none of the latest so-​called turns within these fields, be it the “on­to­lo­gical turn”, the “prac­tice turn”, the “af­fective turn” and so on, leave the ques­tion of the re­la­tion between cri­tique and pro­ductivity untouched.

The Guise of Citizenship: Immigration & Liminal Spaces of Legality


Like all ob­vi­ous­nesses, in­cluding those that make a word ‘name a thing’ or ‘have a meaning’ (there­fore in­cluding the ob­vi­ous­ness of the ‘trans­par­ency’ of lan­guage), the ‘ob­vi­ous­ness’ that you and I are sub­jects – and that that does not cause any prob­lems – is an ideo­lo­gical ef­fect, the ele­mentary ideo­lo­gical ef­fect (Althusser, Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatus [117]) I begin with this quote…

Law & Space: Unity & the Multiplication of Law’s Places

carl andre - alcloud

A Workshop hosted by the Oxford Brookes Critical Approaches to Law Research Group — Friday 6th of May 2011 The or­dering of space, a de­riv­ative of in­tel­lec­tual con­cep­tu­alism, is an act of vi­ol­ence ex­ecuted through aes­thetic means. (Ronen Shamir, 2001) This work­shop brings to­gether a number of dif­ferent tra­ject­ories, dis­cip­lines and per­spect­ives to ex­plore the re­cent turn to geo­graphy and spatial…

Geographies of the Kettle: Containment, Spectacle & Counter-​Strategy


“Those who live by the spec­tacle will die by the spec­tacle.” Jean Baudrillard The last few weeks of student-​led protests against the ideo­lo­gic­ally blunt and fin­an­cially reck­less Tory-​Liberal Democrat cuts and the massively short-​sighted, brutal and re­gressive cuts to third level edu­ca­tion in par­tic­ular may well have marked some­thing of a turning point in modern British…

Looking for Spatial Justice

spatial revolution - Belyaev Guintovt (2004 inverted)

Where is justice? Or, more pre­cisely, what is the where of justice? For quite some time the ele­phant in the room of so­cial science’s spa­tial turn – the for­mula was only men­tioned three times in the last cen­tury, as Soja noted – this ques­tion has gained sig­ni­ficant mo­mentum in the last few years. Geographers and (few) legal the­or­ists are…

Nomadic Thinking

Little Dots: By kind permission of "generative artist" Kristin Henry.

This present­a­tion is a few notes on a ques­tion. The ques­tion being: What does it mean to say: the free space of thinking? As my title sug­gests, I would like to re­late the free space of thinking to what one might simply call no­madic thinking. To this end, I will draw upon Deleuze and Guattari’s Nomadology and, in ad­di­tion, the…