7284 - Entaglements of Power and Spatial Tourism Inequalities in The Mexican Caribbean

Research on entanglements of power inquiries into the multiple positions from which power of domination and resistance are exercised across time-spaces. This paper discusses the dominating efforts of Europeans, Yucatecans, Mexicans and Americans to territorialize the Mexican Caribbean in order to anchor it to global patterns of accumulation. The domination power to grid, survey and discipline a region that for a long time was conceived as “empty space” gets entangled with the resistance power exerted by indigenous Maya and local ecosystems. These entanglements of power have converged in contemporary Akumal to produce a geometry of spatial segregation in which Mestizo and Maya workers are segregated by government and businesses from spaces designated for tourist use. Findings show that spatial inequality has been constructed along a pattern of increasing globalization, local reconfigurations of local power positions, and the trans-nationalization of space. In Akumal this pattern could only be imposed by reinterpreting space, through tourism, from the logic of a resource to be exploited to a logic of a good to be preserved and enjoyed in-situ. Local resistances to this hegemonic pattern have managed to delay and sometimes bend some of its spatial outcomes. The latest of these bends leaded to the creation of Akumal Pueblo. The genealogy of this bending is analyzed and discussed in great detail. It is argued that a great source of resistance power to alter hegemonic spatial outcomes resides in human agents whose identities were formed autonomously, that is squarely outside the region’s entanglements of power, but who chose to re-signify them in order to fully embed themselves within these entanglements.      

Author: Manuel-Navarrete, David (desigualdades.net, Germany / Deutschland)


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