The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA

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  • Author(s): Bonilla, Yarimar
  • Source:
    In Political Geography April 2020 78
  • Publication Information:
    Elsevier Ltd
  • Document Type:
    Article
  • Additional Information
    • Affiliation:
      Department of Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Hunter College, 695 Park Ave, New York, NY, 10065, United States
    • Note:
      Research for this project was made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and the Andrew Carnegie Fellows program. Earlier versions benefitted from engagement with colleagues at the University of California-Santa Cruz, UCLA, Princeton, NYU, Stony Brook, Mount Holyoke, Harvard, and Rutgers. I am grateful to Dawn Wells and Isabel Guzzardo for research assistance and to Raquel Salas-Rivera for editing.
    • Keywords:
      Disaster
      Emergency
      Race
      Coloniality
      Resilience
      Capitalism
      Puerto Rico
      Caribbean
    • Abstract:
      This essay uses the case of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico to discuss “the coloniality of disaster”: how catastrophic events like hurricanes, earthquakes, but also other forms political and economic crisis deepen the fault lines of long-existing racial and colonial histories. It argues that disaster capitalism needs to be understood as a form of racio-colonial capitalism and that this in turn requires us to question our understandings of both “resilience” and “recovery.” The article focuses on the “wait of disaster” as a temporal logic of state subjugation and on how Puerto Ricans responded to state abandonment through modes of autogestión, or autonomous organizing. It concludes that while resiliency can be coopted in service of a neoliberal recovery, it can also be the site for gestating new forms of sovereignty and new visions of postcolonial recovery.
    • ISSN:
      0962-6298
    • Accession Number:
      10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181
    • Accession Number:
      S0962629820301049
    • Copyright:
      © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      BONILLA, Y. The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA. Political Geography, [s. l.], v. 78, 2020. DOI 10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edselp&AN=S0962629820301049. Acesso em: 13 ago. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Bonilla Y. The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA. Political Geography. 2020;78. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181
    • APA:
      Bonilla, Y. (2020). The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA. Political Geography, 78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Bonilla, Yarimar. 2020. “The Coloniality of Disaster: Race, Empire, and the Temporal Logics of Emergency in Puerto Rico, USA.” Political Geography 78 (April). doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181.
    • Harvard:
      Bonilla, Y. (2020) ‘The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA’, Political Geography, 78. doi: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181.
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Bonilla, Y 2020, ‘The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA’, Political Geography, vol. 78, viewed 13 August 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Bonilla, Yarimar. “The Coloniality of Disaster: Race, Empire, and the Temporal Logics of Emergency in Puerto Rico, USA.” Political Geography, vol. 78, Apr. 2020. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Bonilla, Yarimar. “The Coloniality of Disaster: Race, Empire, and the Temporal Logics of Emergency in Puerto Rico, USA.” Political Geography 78 (April 1, 2020). doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2020.102181.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Bonilla Y. The coloniality of disaster: Race, empire, and the temporal logics of emergency in Puerto Rico, USA. Political Geography [Internet]. 2020 Apr 1 [cited 2020 Aug 13];78. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edselp&AN=S0962629820301049