Cultural activism, hegemony, and the search for urban autonomy in the city of Puebla, Mexico

- Auteur :P. Martin - Article scientifique

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Auteurs : González Castillo E., Martin P.

Résumé (disponible an anglais seulement)
In Mexico communal autonomy is a political concept that animates multiple forms of political mobilization at the margins of the state. While strongly associated with the Zapatista movement and indigenous rights, political struggles in favor of autonomy can be found in multiple settings and periods of Mexican history, rural and urban alike. In light of long-standing multiscaled patterns of state violence and impunity, the defense of autonomy as a political goal seems both morally justifiable and politically logical. We contend, nonetheless, that when examined in context, the project of autonomy is more ambivalent than it first appears. We build this argument through a critical examination of the spatialized practices of groups of cultural activists who have been very active in the city of Puebla, Mexico, over the last decade. The political actions of these cultural activists are anchored in two primary spatial strategies: the establishment of permanent yet semiprivate locations (cafeterias, workshops) coupled with the ephemeral political activities (meetings and protests) in public squares. Cultural activists have enacted these strategies almost exclusively in and around the historic center of Puebla. We suggest that this exclusive engagement with central spaces in the city of Puebla signals has complicated entanglements with power that may contribute to the reinscription and reproduction of power and space in the neoliberal city.

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