Contesting Displacement: Disposession/Extraction/Gentrification

The beginning of the 21st century has been marked by displacement. Wars across the globe – from civil wars in Syria and Somalia to drug wars in Mexico and Honduras to imperial wars in Yemen and Afghanistan – uproot populations, forcing them to migrate across land and sea. Mining, irrigation, and logging operations do the same, extracting resources from the ground and, in the process, dispossessing indigenous inhabitants of their lands and their livelihoods. And from San Francisco to London to Johannesburg, gentrification in the name of urban renewal transforms entire cityscapes, evicting working-class, poor, and often nonwhite dwellers to make room for wealthier residents. This year, the Center for Emerging Worlds brings together artists, activists, and scholars to think through the overlapping forms of displacement and dispossession that are produced by and reproduce late capitalism and late imperialism. While displacement via dispossession, extraction, and gentrification are not usually gathered under the same umbrella, either in scholarship or in activist work, we aim to track possible connections across these different forms of displacement and dispossession. By focusing on North America, Latin America, and Palestine/Israel, we also aim to connect regions in unexpected ways. Our ultimate goal in understanding late capitalist and late imperial dispossession to have multiple but interconnected forms is to work across these connections in order to contest it, and in multiple ways.