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Special Issue: Drug places between knowledge and representations

Drugs and Alcohol Today: Volume 21 Issue 3
Guest Editors: Mélina Germes, Bernd Werse & Marie Jauffret-Roustide

See table of contents below

“The aim of this special issue is to focus on the spatiality of drug practices and policies,
to question how practices and policies are spatialised and how common perceptions
of social space influence social practices and associated meanings of particular drug
places. By drug places, we mean places characterised by the consumption of
psychoactive substances. However, drug use by itself is not sufficient to characterise
a drug place: it requires some other factors and actors such as public, media and
political discourses; the intervention and action of drug policy stakeholders like
prevention and harm reduction services, municipalities, police; the organisation of
residents’ initiatives; the underground, (sub)cultural knowledge or hearsay narratives
specific to certain groups and the emotional atmospheres et al. So, drug places might
be public, private, semi-public or institutional spaces; they might be geo-localised
areas, as well as imaginary or digital spaces; they might be very mobile and changing
or persistent over decades. Drug places are neither determined by their urbanistic
design or localisation nor by their social characteristics. Drug places emerge as the
result of complex social production, as they are populated by people who use drugs,
residents, professionals and workers, intertwined with health and public safety issues,
appropriate for many uses, designed and managed by public and private landlords.
Their history, the power relationship they are into, their configuration, the manner in
which they are named, their localisation and the scales they are embedded in all
matter as follows: all this contributes to their construction, at a specific moment, in a
particular configuration, as a drug place. With the notion of drug places, we don’t
mean that there would exist places per se related or dedicated to drug practices. The
intent of this special issue is to show how drug places are socially constructed, why
and how actors interact with these constructions. Therefore, the question raised by the
notion of “drug place” is not the one of the localisation of (public) places where people
do drugs (no matter if this refers to open drug scenes, alcohol-related nightlife settings
or other places), usually referred to as places that require public intervention by
political actors and public attention by media.”

Drugs (Counter) Mapping Book Project

Drugs are fascinating, because of their effects on mind and body, but also because of our ideas and images of them. A part of human culture for millennia, psychoactive substances have been celebrated and widely integrated into society on the one hand, and framed as evil and prohibited across the world on the other. From local production and use to global trade, they are often tied to crime, vice and discourses of fear.

Cartographic representations contribute to these imaginaries, for example with streams of trade between global south and global north or hotspots of dangerous urban areas. These representations raise concerns, since drugs are a nexus of multidimensional power relationships. The very idea of mapping drugs is rejected by many drug users and advocates.

This book will share alternative knowledge about drugs, from production to consumption. Experimenting with new visualisations and new graphic languages, it will foster other imaginations and understandings of this global phenomenon. Compiling case studies in text and graphic form, it promotes a better understanding of the complexity behind the word, “drugs”.

CfP “Drug places between knowledge and representations”

Journal Drug and Alcohol Today

Guest Editors:

Mélina Germes, Bernd Werse & Marie Jauffret-Roustide

The aim of this special issue on drug places is to focus on the spatiality of drug and alcohol practices and policies, in order to question how researchers do explicitly or implicitly spatialise practices and policies.

More Infos: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/dat/drug-places-between-knowledge-and-representations

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