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Spiral movement: writing with fascism and urban violence

Gassner, G. ORCID: 2022. Spiral movement: writing with fascism and urban violence. Sociological Review 70 (4) , pp. 786-809. 10.1177/00380261221106526

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How to move against the rise of the far-right and seemingly unstoppable autocratic leaders in many Western liberal democracies? Antifascism’s interest in the built environment is often limited to the collection of address data of right-wing extremists with the aim of locating its enemies. In this piece, I write with fascism and violence through vignettes of urban situatedness. I adopt an eclectic approach, engaging with diverse theories of violence and establishing loose connections between classical sociology and fascist urbanisation, liberalism in practice and historical fascism, and material aesthetics and right-wing spaces. In so doing, I highlight endemic forms of state and capitalist violence and their spatial manifestations of ghettoisation, beautification and overcoding. Acknowledging the limits of factual knowledge and liberal appeals to the truth in breaking through fascist worldviews of domination, the architecture of the text uses a circular infrastructure that connects various parties: ‘they’ (Twitter users), ‘I’ (author), ‘you’ (Walter Benjamin), and numerous ‘we’ who are thrown together in urban environments. Rather than developing a linear argument that tries to persuade fascists, I explore writing as a collective political practice that refutes totalising accounts. With the aim of opening meaning-makings through returning to and reworking numerous views, I respond to a spiral of violence with a movement that is organised around a shared commitment to an anti-oppressive, non-hierarchical world; a movement that is out of someone’s control and that spirals towards collective liberation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0038-0261
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 28 April 2022
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 16:26

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