In the Shell of the Old: Anarchist Geographies of Territorialisation



Abstract:  This paper applies an anarchist approach to ongoing debates on the politics, nature and function of territory. Recent work in geography has problematised dominant modes of territory, but has stopped short of a systematic critique of how statist spatial imaginations and practices reproduce and perpetuate the dominance of both capitalism and authority in society. In this paper, I deploy anarchist thought and practice to argue that territory must be viewed as a processual and contested product of social relations. This is linked to the notion of prefiguration; a distinctive concept in anarchist thought and practice embedding envisioned future modes of social organisation into the present. Using examples from fieldwork with anarchist-inspired groups, I explore anarchist prefigurative politics as a means to re-imagine how practices of territorialisation and bordering might be deployed as part of a broader project of social transformation.