This review essay enters into conversation with Greg Beckett’s 2019 There Is No More Haiti: Between Life and Death in Port-au-Prince to think through the geographies and temporalities of how crisis is known. Focusing on the urban Caribbean, it interrogates broadly circulating understandings of the city-as-crisis, asking how the “where” of crisis connects to a geographical imagination that sites Caribbean cultural authenticity in the countryside. Next, it reflects on the temporalities of crisis, in relation to Beckett’s conceptualization of crisis as a chronic condition, as the routinized anticipation of rupture. Despite a rich tradition of Caribbean scholarship on temporalities, there has been limited engagement with the region’s urban time-spaces. The author suggests that a more thorough consideration of Caribbean urban futures in particular might allow us to read an anticipatory attunement to insecurity and instability as an urban mode of temporal experience, in which future making in and through uncertainty can be not a source of despair but of hope.
Where and When Is Crisis?
Rivke Jaffe is a professor of urban geography at the University of Amsterdam. Connecting geography, anthropology, and cultural studies, her research focuses primarily on intersections of the urban and the political and specifically on the spatialization and materialization of difference and inequality within cities. She is the author of Concrete Jungles: Urban Pollution and the Politics of Difference in the Caribbean (2016). Her current work studies security dogs in Jamaica.
Rivke Jaffe; Where and When Is Crisis?. Small Axe 1 November 2021; 25 (3 (66)): 178–185. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9583544
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