‘Displacement’ before displacement: time, place and the case of rural Urabá

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Addressing the case of a community from rural Urabá, Colombia, this article focuses on the temporality of population displacement and asks: when does the ‘clock’ of displacement start? Drawing upon an in-depth ethnographic fieldwork it challenges the state driven narrative that displacement can be understood from the moment one leaves their residence and advances the argument that displacement is more than just physical relocation. By engaging with the broader social, political and economic context in which displacement occurred and bringing local voices to the fore, this article demonstrates how the experience of violence engendered a sense of displacement before residents actually left.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-390
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • displacement
  • sense of place
  • temporality
  • IDPs
  • Urabá
  • Colombia

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