Transversal lives against settler colonialism? Roshon Singh Nandhra, ‘Transversing Settler Colonial Capital: Indigenous Dispossession and Non-White Labour Exploitation’, BC Studies, 210, 2021


Abstract: Through a concept I develop and refer to as ‘transversal modes of life’I read through ways in which relationships of solidarity between Indigenous peoples, Black peoples, and people of colour have been adversely affected by capitalist development in Canada. Through case studies of the salmon canning and forestry industries in the early-to-mid-twentieth century in British Columbia, I contend that settler colonial relations of capital are characterized by the following three features: first, although people of colour may not choose their social positioning with Indigenous peoples in the development of the settler colonial state, this does not remove our complicity in formations that continue to dispossess Indigenous peoples from their lands and waters, but in fact complicates that relationship. Second, building on Glen Sean Coulthard’s use of Marxist theory, capitalist development within the Canadian settler colonial context produces transversal modes of life that have developed by structurally positioning Black peoples and people of colour within processes of dispossession. Third, a lens of transversality draws attention to the dynamics between Indigenous dispossession and exploitation of non-white labour, which are always and already relational. Positing relationships of co-resistance requires understanding the relational depth through which our interconnections can yield powerful resistance measures that are consistent with grounded normativity.

%d bloggers like this: