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Cutting Through Topologies: Crossing Lines at the School of the Americas

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The School of the Americas (SOA) is a U.S. Army school that trains Latin American military officers. Manuals released detail torture techniques once taught at the school, and thousands of graduates have been linked to human rights abuses. The annual vigil in front of Fort Benning is the largest ongoing protest and civil disobedience against U.S. imperialism being held within the U.S. The movement to close the SOA traces the twisted lines of the topology that shapes spaces of exception in Latin America. It traces those lines back to the SOA, and cuts through them with its own counter-topographical lines of connection to those Latin Americans that are made into ‘bare life’ by those topologies. This essay looks at the doings of protest space as a form of resistance to the space of exception, and how personal stories, and mourning, can put us beside ourselves, with one another.

Keywords: bare life; counter-topography; protest space; resistance; space of exception; topology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada;, Email:

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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