The concept of state of exception has been key for explaining the spaces of enforced disappearances in the 1970s and 1980s in the Southern Cone, to the point that it has become a trope. This article takes up that concept, but revisits and alters it. It turns it around, proposing for what we call the “new disappearances” the concept of “inverted exception”. It does so through the examination of two concrete empirical situations – migrant houses in Mexico and the sanctuary movement in the United States – applying the same ethnographical observation approach to both and using the analysis of those situations to inform the theoretical reflection proposed here. The conclusion is that, while these “new disappearances” have, like enforced disappearances, a direct and close relationship with “spaces of exception”, that relationship now operates inversely: the space of exception is today sometimes the space of appearance, while the norm is widespread disappearance.
Gatti, G., Irazuzta, I. & Martínez, M. (2021). Inverted Exception. Ideas for Thinking about the New Disappearances through Two Case Studies. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 29(4), 581-604.