It could be and could have been otherwise: For a non-Euclidean Engagement with Mexico City’s ’68

  • Nicholas Jon Crane Department of Geography, Ohio State University
Keywords: non-Euclidean engagement, research design, 1968, Tlatelolco, sacrifice, repression, state, exclusions


This article proposes a research design and understanding of context appropriate to a non-Euclidean engagement with a famous massacre in the Mexico City neighborhood Tlatelolco on 2 October 1968. Mexico City’s experience of 1968 is lesser-known than those of many other cities (e.g., Paris). But the predominant narrative of Mexico City’s experience tends to be similar in structure to those of better-known ’68s insofar as Mexico City’s ’68 has been invested with an essential content from which deviations are repelled. Accordingly, Mexico City’s ’68 is regularly treated as if synonymous with ‘Tlatelolco’ – a shorthand both for where and when ’68 took place, and also for an ongoing conflict (alternately a ‘sacrifice,’ or repression by the state), which it is taken to exemplify. This spatial-temporal circumscription and projection of certitude onto the past forecloses ’68’s contemporary political relevance and poses Tlatelolco as its container. But how and to what effect might one restore contingency to Tlatelolco? This article primarily draws from Foucault and Rancière to suggest that nonEuclidean engagement can denaturalize inherited exclusions from ‘the field,’ establish overlooked connections to its ostensible outsides, and thereby make politics possible.
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