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Blackness in Resistance: Territory and Regime Violence in Uruguay

British Academy Grant PF20\100040

The project Blackness in Resistance: Territory and Regime Violence in Uruguay is led by Dr Ana Laura Zavala Guillen and funded by the British Academy (Grant number: PF20\100040).

This collaborative project expands academic debates on race and territory by examining emerging spatial practices of resistance of largely disregarded groups, namely Afro-descendant communities in countries where they have been predominantly erased or marginalised in politics and academia.

Analysis of these spatial practices against racial violence suffered by Afro-descendant communities in Uruguay demonstrates that Blackness matters in resistance in Latin America by bringing together, originally, Maroon studies, a vibrant literature in Black geography, and scholarship on socioterritorial movements, a southern approach to geographies of social change, by way of a novel radical participatory research method in historical geography.

Afro-descendant communities map and analyse by feeling/thinking with their ancestral practices and knowledge records collected in colonial archives in Uruguay and Spain to challenge a political narrative that denies resistance as part of the history of their settlements. This official narrative shapes them as passive objects without any mobilisation against regime violence that affected them during slavery, with a focus on the eighteenth century, and the military dictatorship (1973-1985). This vision has negatively impacted reparation for Afro-descendant communities in Uruguay and other Latin-American countries.


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