This contribution draws on rhythmanalysis and the political economy of assemblage to provide a framework for understanding the productive spatiotemporal effects of physical violence on urban rhythms. The chapter explores how Buenaventura, Colombia's biggest port city, is transformed both by the growth in container turnover, and through recurring, spatial and temporal practices of violence. What role does violence play in the relation between trade-driven acceleration through the port, and the aquatic, tidal rhythm that historically shaped the city? The contribution mobilises the notion of disruption to analyse the frictions emerging between infrastructural nodes of acceleration, inhabitants’ movements and urban space. The author argues that while recurring violence provides urban rhythm itself, social movements may employ the temporal instrument of disruption as a means both of political articulation and transformation within the logics of accelerated accumulation and in a context marked by violent rhythms and forced mobility.
This edited volume discusses the topic of urban violence from a new spatiotemporal perspective. It is built on the idea that spatial and temporal theoretical perspectives must be combined to truly understand the particular urban quality of violence in cities. By looking at the different ways in which the spatial and temporal configurations of cities produce and shape violence, it offers important insights into the dynamics of urban violence and how it affects everyday urban spatial practices and rhythms. In this book, violence itself is characterised as a spatiotemporal practice with destructive, transformative and generative potential. Some chapters focus on how violence reconfigures spatialities and temporalities in cities in the long term, changing the physical and social space as well the rhythms of a city. Others concentrate on memories and imaginations of violence that are imbued in the city-space, often in several temporal layers, and can lead to new violence by politicised practices of commemoration. The novel spatiotemporal perspective is applied by authors from different academic disciplines in nine case studies based on original material generated by ethnographic field research and the study of archival sources. The chapters cover cities in different world regions and historical phases, also offering translocal and transregional perspectives. With this approach, the book challenges assumed binaries of cities in the global north and south and contests the alleged difference between violence in the past and in the present.
Cities have been more than simply ‘places’ of conflict. The intrinsic connection between space, time and violence in cities is the main theme of this volume. This introduction develops the notion of space-time, which, we argue, helps us analyse violence in ways that make prominent the intertwinement of spatial and temporal aspects in the urban context. (Re-)shaping or even fundamentally transforming space, violence can produce urban segregations or create frontiers, but it can also trigger accelerations of movement and simultaneously slow down daily rhythms of life, causing immobility or containment. The spatial configuration of a city and its rhythms also produce and shape violence in distinct ways. A spatiotemporal perspective makes visible the translocal networks and global dynamics that may link urban violence to a faraway ‘elsewhere’, and the temporal connections that foreground both the (disrupted) rhythms of everyday practices, and the longer-term processes violence is embedded in (i.e. in memories of violence). Discussing and revising literatures from different academic disciplines on space, time, violence and the city, the introduction argues for a processual understanding of the urban, rather than seeing ‘the city’ simply as the backdrop to or environment of violent practices or an imaginary of contemporary ‘violent cities’.