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Representing Slow Violence and Resistance:On Hiding and Seeing

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel Pain



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Focusing on representations of violence and its resistance, this special issue engages and troubles Nixon’s conceptualization of slow violence, contributing feminist and antiracist perspectives. Nixon’s (2011) theorization of slow violence has recently seen growing interest among geographers and researchers across disciplines who are grappling with the multi-faceted nature of violence across politics, culture and history. In this issue, authors draw on the concept of slow violence to explore social and environmental injustices in the toxic sites of waste, racialized surveillance of food landscapes, caregiving, policing in gentrifying neighborhoods, and the dismantling of social housing provision. The papers gathered here document what Said (2001) called “the normalized quiet of unseen power” of making visible the invisible, while also raising critical questions of witnessing, surveillance, silencing, and refusal. What the papers have in common is an insistence that it is not only violence that is unseen, but the people themselves whose humanity is unrecognized and whose material struggles are disappeared (as made evident in “Black Lives Matter”). Collectively, we foreground the perspectives of those most affected by violence with the understanding that not only do they hold deep knowledge about their lives and experience, but that their particular vantage point is critical in understanding structural inequalities (Smith 2013; Torre, Stoudt, Manoff, & Fine 2017; Tuck & Yang 2014).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cahill C, Pain R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: ACME: an International Journal for Critical Geographies

Year: 2019

Volume: 18

Issue: 5

Pages: 1054-1065

Online publication date: 03/10/2019

Acceptance date: 09/09/2019

Date deposited: 16/10/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1492-9732

Publisher: ACME Geography Editorial Collective