'The Slow Violence Of Incarceration'

Overland, 6 October 2016

In 2011 the Princeton literary studies scholar Rob Nixon coined the term slow violence to mean ‘a violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space’. As he points out, we are accustomed to conceiving of violence in terms of its eye-catching and newsworthy immediacy, as an explosive or spectacular event or action. He lists falling bodies, burning towers, exploding heads, avalanches, volcanoes and tsunamis as vivid, visceral examples.