On this episode, we speak with Dr. Sabiyha Prince, a cultural anthropologist and independent scholar who resides in the Baltimore/Washington metro area. Dr. Prince discusses her work on the phenomenon of urban gentrification in Washington DC and Harlem, NY and the lives of African Americans who confront and construct this process of restructuring. Dr. Prince’s new book, African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, D.C., sheds light on social hierarchies and standpoints unfolding over time and emerges as a portrait of a heterogeneous African American population wherein members define their identity and culture as a people informed with the knowledge of injustice’s impact on the urban landscape. This book presents oral history and ethnographic data on current and former, African American residents of D.C. Combining these findings with analyses from institutional, statistical, and scholarly reports on wealth inequality, shortages in affordable housing, and rates of unemployment, Prince contends that gentrification seizes upon and fosters uneven development, vulnerability and alienation and contributes to classed and racialized tensions in affected communities.
As usual the show features a dose of action news updates from around the world with a focus on the March 15th International Day of Action against Police (Brutality). The show also showcases Baltimore feminist punk band War on Women, a member of which, Shawna Field, recently was interviewed on HPH for her work with anti-street harrassment group
This week’s edition of the Horizontal Power Hour features excerpts from a presentation by the radical Mexican development critic Gustavo Esteva titled “Beyond Development and Globalization: Anarchy & Buen Vivir” originally given in Middletown, CT on February 13, 2012. Esteva is a “deprofessionalized” intellectual and grassroots activist. His writing of the past 25 years has figured centrally to what is now called “critical development studies.” He works both independently and in conjunction with a variety of Mexican NGO’s and grassroots organizations and communities in Chiapas, Mexico, including the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (or EZLN). In the talk, Esteva emphasizes the terminal inadequacy of prevailing political priorities and illuminates the radical potentiality of what he calls “the ongoing insurrection” which surrounds us every day. In addition to the wise words of Esteva, we share some less-wise words from Supreme Court “Justice” Antonin Scalia, who explains his refusal to strike down Texas anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. Abundant, exciting action news from every continent (except Antarctica) is shared. Inspiration guaranteed!
Mariama and Isabelle resent this week’s show, which features a conversation between Gustavo Esteva and Anu Sharma. Esteva is an independent intellectual and grassroots activist from Oaxaca Mexico who addresses post-development, social change from the bottom up, and the Zapatistas. He works both independently and in conjunction with a variety of NGOs, organizations and communities. In Grassroots Postmodernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures and Escaping Education, Gustavo argues that even the “alternative” development prescriptions lead inexorably to depriving the people of control over their own lives and shifting this control to bureaucrats, technocrats, and educators. Sharma, who was influenced by his work as a graduate student, is an associate professor of Anthropology and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. Her work focuses on the anthropological study of global projects of neoliberal governance and development. Her previous research focused on empowerment as a global strategy of development and democratic governance and examined its effects on citizen and state identities and relationships to contemporary India, culminating in the publication of Logics of Empowerment: Development, Gender, and Governance in Neoliberal India. Her current work is on the empowerment mobilizations and citizen-activist-state interfaces in New Delhi in the context of the 2005 Indian Right to Information Act.