The Gaols of Guyana: Hauntology and Trauma in the soundscape of Prison

Tammy Ayres, Dylan Kerrigan

Abstract


Using Hauntology, this paper illustrates how the supposed demise of a socio-political and economic system – colonialism – still impacts on and has something to offer contemporary political analysis in Guyana’s gaols. Drawing on Fiddler’s spatio-hauntology alongside the work of Derrida and Gordon this paper shows how hauntology provides an alternative theoretical framework to look at the intergenerational transmission of trauma, which can be traced back to colonialism and slavery. It acknowledges the impact structural violence has on the collective imaginary and how this – consciously and unconsciously – shapes the psychosocial material underpinning contemporary Guyanese identities, desires, experiences, social action, and systems of punishment which includes prisons – its buildings, space, regimes, processes, sounds, laws and rationale. Guyana’s prisons contain phantoms of the past. Only by acknowledging Guyana’s ghosts and the phantasm of past trauma is it that we can begin to understand contemporary Guyana and Guyanese society, which includes their jails.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Agamben, G. 2005. State of Exception (translated by Kevin Attell). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Agamben, G. 1995. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Anderson, C. 2012. Subaltern Lives: Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790–1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Anderson, C. 2016. Transnational Histories of Penal Transportation: Punishment, Labour and Governance in the British Imperial World, 1788-1939. Australian Historical Studies, 47 (3): 381–397.

Anderson, C. 2019. Convicts, Commodities, and Connections in British Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1789–1866. International Review of Social History, 64(S27): 205-227

Anderson, C., Ifill, M., Adams, E. and Moss, K. 2020. Guyana’s Prisons: Colonial Histories of Post-Colonial Challenges. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice Special Issue, 59 (3): 335-349.

Anderson, C., Moss, K. and Adams, E. 2020. Insanity and Imprisonment in colonial British Guiana. LIAS Working Paper 2020/4. Leicester: Institute for Advanced Studies

Bundy, A.J.M. 1999. Selected Essays of Wilson Harris. London: Routledge.

Buntman, F. 2019. Prison and Law, Repression and Resistance: Colonialism and Beyond. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 47(2): 213-246.

Carter, M.W. 1979. Poems of Resistance from Guyana. Guyana: Release Publishers.

Childs, D. 2015. Slaves of the State. London: University of Minnesota Press.

Clarke, K.M. 2010. The Politics of Faith and the Limits of Scientific Reason: Tracking the Anthropology of Human Rights and Religion. Religion and Society, 1 (1): 110-13.

Coddington, K. and Micieli-Voutsinas, J. 2017. On trauma, geography and mobility: Towards geographies of trauma. Emotion, Space and Society, 24: 52-56.

D’Harlingue, B. 2010. Spectres of the U.S. Prison Regime in M. del Pilar Blanco and E. Peeren (eds.) The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture: Popular Ghosts (pp. 133-146). New York: Continuum.

De Ferrari, G. 2018. A Caribbean Hauntology: The Sensorial Art of Joscelyn Gardner and M. Nourbese Philip. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 27 (3): 271-293

Derrida, J. 1994. Specters of Marx. London: Routledge.

Fiddler, M. 2019. Ghosts of Other Stories: A synthesis of hauntology, crime and space. Crime, Media, Culture, 15 (3): 463-477.

Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punishment – The Birth of the Prison. London: Pantheon Books.

Franklin, H.B. 1979. Songs of an Imprisoned People. Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS), 6 (1): 6-22

Frosh, S. 2013. Hauntings: Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gampat, R. 2015. Guyana: From Slavery to the Present: Vol. 1 Health System. Guyana: Xlibris Corporation.

Gordon, A. 1997. Ghostly Matters. London: University of Minnesota Press.

Gregory, D. 2004. The Colonial Present. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Griffith, C.C. 1971. Within Four Walls. Guyana: Guyana Printers.

Grosfoguel, R. 2007. The Epistemic Decolonial Turn. Cultural Studies, 21 (2-3): 211-223.

Harris, W. 2006. The Ghost of Memory. London: Faber and Faber.

Harris, W. 1996. Jonestown. London: Faber and Faber.

Harris, W. 1993. The Carnival Trilogy. London: Faber and Faber.

Hemsworth, K. 2015. Carceral acoustemologies: Historical geographies of sound in a Canadian Prison in K. Morin and D. Moran (eds.) Historical Geographies (pp. 17-33). Oxon: Routledge.

Jewkes, Y. 2007. Captive Audience. Cullompton: Willan.

Linnemann, T. 2015. Capote’s ghosts: Violence, media and the spectre of suspicion, British Journal of Criminology, 55 (3): 514-533.

Middlebrook, J.A. 2016. Songs in the Key of Incarceration: Prison Music as Sound, Theory, and Method. Qualitative Enquiry, 22 (10): 818-822.

Quijano, A. 2000. Coloniality of Power, Ethnocentrism, and Latin America. Nepantla, 1 (3): 533−580.

Rice, T. 2016. Sounds inside: prison, prisoners and acoustical agency. Sound Studies, 2 (1): 6-20.

Robinson, C., 1981. Racial Capitalism in C.J. Robinson (ed.) Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (pp. 9-28). London: Zed Press

Rodríguez, D. 2006. Forced Passages. London: University of Minnesota Press.

Said, E. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.

Salah-Hana, V. 2015. Black Feminist Hauntology: Rememory the Ghosts of Abolition? Champ Pénal/Penal Field, XII: 1-33.

Sarsfield, R. and Bergman. M. 2017. Study of Inmates in Guyana. Guyana: Buenos Aires: Center for Latin American Studies on Crime and Violence, UNTREF, Inter-American Development Bank.

Schwab, G. 2010. Haunting Legacies. Chichester: Columbia University Press.

Smith, L. 2014. Insanity, Race and Colonialism: Managing Mental Disorder in the Post-Emancipation British Caribbean, 1838-1914. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Stoler, L.A. 2008. Imperial Debris: Reflections on ruins and ruination. Cultural Anthropology, 23 (2): 191-219.

Stoler, L.A. 2006. Haunted by Empire. Durham: Duke University Press.

Sykes, G. 1958. Pains of Imprisonment. Oxford: Wiley.

Trouillot, M.R. 1995. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press.

Wener, R.E. (2012) The Environmental Psychology of Prisons and Jails. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/lwps.202143755

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 Tammy Ayres, Dylan Kerrigan

We use both functional and performance cookies to improve visitor experience. Continue browsing if you are happy to accept cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.
OK