Fantasías de libertad: una comparación entre la servidumbre por contrato y el complejo industrial fronterizo en Exit West, de Mohsin Hamid, y Sea of Poppies, de Amitav Ghosh

Contenido principal del artículo

Autores

Amrita Mishra https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8257-7484

Resumen

Este artículo se propone reorientar el marco de análisis en el que se ha considerado la mano de obra india que trabaja en la modalidad de servidumbre por contrato –suministrada desde la India colonial a plantaciones de caña en el Caribe, isla Mauricio e islas Fiyi, entre otros lugares–. Aunque la servidumbre por contrato suele tratarse de manera aislada o se considera un «nuevo sistema de esclavitud» (Tinker, 1974), este artículo adopta las intervenciones de Lisa Lowe (2015) y Clare Anderson (2009) para afirmar que la servidumbre por contrato como «innovación colonial» (Anderson, 2009) debe considerarse en estrecha relación con el tráfico transatlántico de esclavos y los asentamientos penales coloniales, y las maneras como esos sistemas conectados hacen posible un cambio y una transformación del imperio británico entre los siglos XVIII y XIX. De conformidad con los presupuestos de esta edición, este artículo usa el espacio imaginativo de Exit West, de Mohsin Hamid (2017), y Sea of Poppies, de Amitav Ghosh (2008), para argumentar que el sistema de servidumbre por contrato y el actual complejo industrial fronterizo nos ofrecen semejanzas específicas que permiten una comparación productiva. La representación que hace Ghosh de la servidumbre por contrato, sostengo, reifica la contradicción central del liberalismo de mediados del siglo XIX, que las narrativas coloniales libertarias imaginan como una superación exitosa de la esclavitud mediante la libertad en la forma de libre comercio ampliado, aun cuando directamente exigen y oscurecen la violencia colonial y niegan las mismas libertades a ciertos cuerpos racializados, como los trabajadores en servidumbre. De igual manera, la novela de Hamid permite un alivio a la actual tensión manifiesta entre la fantasía neoliberal del flujo de mercancías, mano de obra y capital sin fronteras ni regulaciones, y la reciente fortificación fronteriza, una disonancia que repite las disonancias del liberalismo. En un esfuerzo por unir un linaje de momentos históricos que exponen las líneas defectuosas de las fantasías liberal y capitalista de libertad, comparo la servidumbre por contrato del complejo industrial fronterizo para demostrar en últimas cómo la fortificación de las fronteras en realidad no se opone, sino que promueve los deseos neoliberales de fronteras abiertas.

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Detalles del artículo

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