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Keywords:

  • necropolitical governance;
  • blackness;
  • spatial praxis;
  • necropolis

Abstract

Based on ethnographic work on police-linked death squads and with black women's organizations, this article analyzes current urban governance policies and the spatial politics of resistance embraced by communities under siege in Brazil. Space matters not only in terms of defining one's access to the polis, but also as a deadly tool through which police killings, economic marginalization, and mass incarceration produce the very geographies (here referred to as “the black necropolis”) that the state aims to counteract in its war against the black urban poor. Yet, within the context of necropolitical governance, blackness appears as a spatially grounded praxis that enables victims of state terror to reclaim their placeless location as a political resource for redefining themselves and the polis.