Settler colonialism is also about ‘slow violence’: Sarah de Leeuw, ‘Tender grounds: Intimate visceral violence and British Columbia’s colonial geographies’, Political Geography, 2016
Abstract: Ongoing colonial violence, I argue in this paper, operates through geographies of Indigenous homes, families, and bodies that are too often overlooked in standard geographical accounts of colonialism. Contiguous with residential school violence and other micro-scale efforts to eliminate Indigenous peoples, colonial power continues to assert itself profoundly through intervention into and disruption of intimate, ‘tender’ (Stoler, 2006), embodied, ‘visceral’ (Hayes-Conroy & Hayes-Conroy 2008; Hayes-Conroy and Hayes-Conroy 2010), and biopolitical (Morgensen, 2011a) geographies of Indigenous women and children. Drawing on feminist and decolonizing theories, along with the concept of ‘slow violence’ (Nixon, 2011), I offer in this paper a grounded account of spatial forms of governmentality in ongoing colonial relations in British Columbia, Canada. I critique dominant geographic inquires into colonialism as being primarily about land, natural resources, and territory. These inquiries, I suggest, risk perpetuating colonial violence in their erasure of Indigenous women and children’s ontologies, positing this violence as something ‘out there’ as opposed to an ever-present presence that all settler colonists are implicated in.
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