Here’s the statement we put out with the good folk in the Political Geography editorial team on the ongoing, casualized violence against Black Americans, in light of the revolt in the States and elsewhere. And here is a collection of articles from the journal that try to grapple with the systemic violence of policing, white supremacy and racism.
(illustration: ‘Day 2’ by Adriane Tomine).
The editorial team at Political Geography has been horrified and angered by the ongoing, casualized violence against Black Americans, as seen in the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others. Academic institutions have a particular role to play in anti-racist politics, but must be active in listening, standing-up with, and supporting movements that are struggling to break down existing power dynamics. As editors of an academic journal, we recognize the importance of making the resources we command–in the shape of academic knowledge–widely available to those both within and outside academia. We introduce here a collection of articles from the journal’s archives that will be freely available to scholars, activists and others want to make sense of our present. We have organized these articles into three overarching themes:
• The first series of articles on ‘policing and urban (in)security’ highlights contemporary practices, strategies, and techniques of governing urban space;
• The second series of articles on ‘geographical systems of white supremacy’ explores the racialized and colonialist dimensions of contemporary political forces;
• The third series of articles on ‘epistemologies of space, the state, and racism’ features critical reflections on how geographers can and should study the political and spatial dynamics shaping contemporary events.
Whilst our aim is to share scholarship that critically analyzes regimes of political and geographical power, we recognize that this collection reflects how the sub-discipline, for many years, has been dominated by white, male, Western-based academics. We encourage readers of this collection to read, engage with, learn from, and cite the broader corpus of anti-racist scholarship coming from African American Studies, Cultural Studies, and other cognate fields, and are preparing a more detailed introduction to accompany this collection that will speak to these issues.