Flickering bodiesMapping multiculturalism and insurgent citizenship in wayde compton’s black vancouver

  1. Fernando Pérez García 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Oviedo, España
Chakiñan: Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades

ISSN: 2550-6722

Year of publication: 2019

Issue: 9

Pages: 22-36

Type: Article

DOI: 10.37135/CHK.002.09.02 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDialnet editor

More publications in: Chakiñan: Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades


We live in a moment of hardening of nationalist discourses against immigration and racial minorities. In this conservative climate, Canada prevails as a benchmark for multicultural integration. However, there are voices within the nation that question this image of harmony. The case of the Black Vancouver community has not yet been studied in depth in this regard. This article of reflection aims to contribute to the debate on the relations of the nation-state and subaltern groups, and how they manifest themselves in the multicultural city. Vancouver has been chosen as a paradigmatic space because of its transcultural character built on indigenous lands. The object of study was the literature of Wayde Compton author and black activist of the city. Stemming from theories of the socio-spatial dialectic of Edward Soja and Leonie Sandercock, this article analyses the connection between the city, its representation in literature and its effects on social relationships. The work of Compton and its parallelism with the geo-history of Vancouver and subaltern ethnic communities were analysed. The result reaches a reading of Vancouver as a (post)colonial city and space of subaltern multiculturalism, regarding the official Canadian model, and colonialism that has made invisible to the Black Vancouver and the indigenous communities.

Bibliographic References

  • Creese, G. (2011). The New African Diaspora in Vancouver. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Compton, W. (2010). After Canaan. Vancouver, Canada: Arsenal Pulp Press.
  • Compton, W. (2014). The Outer Harbour. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.
  • Epstein, D. (1998). Afraid/Not: Psychoanalytic Directions for an Insurgent Planning Historiography. In L. Sandercock (ed.). Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural Planning History (pp 209-227). University of California Press.
  • Grosz, E. (1992). Bodies-Cities. In B. Colomina (ed.). Sexuality and Space (pp. 241-253). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Green, M. (March 3, 2019). City and province open doors to housing project focused on Vancouver’s racialized people experiencing homelessness. The Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2019/03/03/city-and-province-open-doors-to-housing-project-focused-on-vancouvers-racialized-people-experiencing-homelessness.html
  • Hayden, D. (1995). The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Print.
  • Harvey D. (2017). El cosmopolitismo y las geografías de la libertad. España: Ediciones Akal.
  • Holston, J. (1998). Spaces of Insurgent Citizenship. In L. Sandercock (ed.). Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural Planning History (pp37-57). University of California Press.
  • Lee, J. & Lutz, J. (eds.) (2005). Situating “Race” and Racisms in Space, Time and Theory. McGuill-Queen’s University Press. Print.
  • Lee, J. (2007). Gender, Ethnicity, and Hybrid Forms of Community-Based Urban Activism in Vancouver, 1957–1978: The Strathcona Story Revisited. Gender, Place & Culture, 14(4), 381–407.
  • Leow, J. (2012). Re-Map, Re-Cover, and Re-Perform: Interdiscursivity and the Poetry of Wayde Compton. Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review, 214, 47-66.
  • Manojlovic, D. (2018). Understanding Street Checks. (Report No. 1809C01). Retrieved from https://vancouver.ca/police/policeboard/doc/SP-3-2-VPD-report-back-and-Understanding-Street-Checks-Appendix-Report.pdf
  • Massey, D. (2008). for space. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Maynard, R. (2017). Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada From Slavery to the Present. Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.
  • McKittrick, K & Woods, C. (eds.). (2007). Black Geographies and the Politics of Place. Toronto: Between the Lines.
  • Olalquiaga, C. (2014). Megalópolis. Santiago de Chile: Metales Pesados.
  • Omi, M. & Winant, H. (2015). Racial Formation in the United States. New York: Routledge.
  • Pablo, C. (March 1, 2018). City of Vancouver now defines $3,702 rent as ‘affordable’ housing. The Georgia Straight. Retrieved from https://www.straight.com/news/1039161/city-vancouver-now-defines-3702-rent-affordable-housing
  • Sandercock, L. (ed.). 1998. Making the Invisible Visible: A Multicultural Planning History. USA: University of California Press.
  • Sandercock, L. (2013). Cosmopolis 2: Mongrel Cities in the 21st Century. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Soja, E. (1996). Thirdspace. Malden: Blackwell. Print.
  • Soja, E. (2003). Writing the City Spatially. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, 7(3), 269-280. doi: 10.1080/1360481032000157478
  • Wade, J. (1994). Houses for All: The Struggle for Social Housing in Vancouver, 1919- 1950. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
  • Walcott, R. (2016). Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies. Ontario: Insomniac Press.