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Black flag mapping: emerging themes in anarchist geography

Ince, Anthony ORCID: 2019. Black flag mapping: emerging themes in anarchist geography. Levy, Carl and Newman, Saul, eds. The Anarchist Imagination: Anarchism Encounters the Humanities and Social Sciences, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 146-162. (10.4324/9781315693163-9)

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I first realized that I wanted to become a geographer when I read Tearing Down the Streets, by the anarchist Jeff Ferrell (2001). Overlooking the fact that he was a criminologist, not a geographer, the powerful message of the book orbited the contestation of public space and the politics of creating truly public and egalitarian spaces for social change. Using a critique (anarchism) and subject matter (public space) that I had never experienced before, Ferrell interrogated the ways in which the urban environment is shaped by, and constitutive of, all manner of political, social, cultural, and economic forces. What gripped me was the way that space is ethereal and elusive – we can’t hold a piece of space in our hand, or interview it, or run it through a machine for analysis – but it is also necessarily material and grounded, locked deeply into the core of everyday struggles for survival, expression, wellbeing and social justice. As a disillusioned political science undergraduate who had been taught that the study of politics chiefly involved learning by rote the technocratic systems of Western government, this was an epiphany of considerable magnitude.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138782761
Date of Acceptance: 1 September 2014
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 09:00

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