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The struggle that cannot be named: violence, space and the re-articulation of anti-racism in post-Duggan Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2445-2463
Number of pages19
Issue number14
Early online date19 Sep 2017
Accepted/In press7 Aug 2017
E-pub ahead of print19 Sep 2017


King's Authors


The history of black struggles in Britain has often centred on spaces of violence and resistance. While there has been significant attention paid to how racism is articulated through particular places, less has been said about anti-racism being communicated through its associations with space and place. Using Tottenham (north London) as a case study, I draw on ethnographic observations at demonstrations and public meetings, in addition to semi-structured interviews with anti-racist activists resisting policing in post-2011 London. This paper argues that, over time, racist metonyms describing places racialised as black have led to the rise of a metonymic anti-racism. Metonymic anti-racism is used alongside more overt anti-racist language, and has profound implications for understanding struggles against police racism in Britain. The paper analyses these implications, contextualizing them historically, in light of neoliberalised racial discourses and how anti-racist metonyms shape articulations of black struggle against policing in post-2011 Tottenham.

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