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Indigenous Resurgence in “a world backwards”: Mining, Raw Economy & Raw Law in the Context of Colombia’s Armed Conflict

When:
Thursday, November 14, 2019
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Where:
Jeffery Hall
Room: Room 128
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Description:

This talk traces the evolution and practice of a decade of activist research supporting Indigenous and Afro-Descendant peoples in the context of Colombia’s internal armed conflict. Emphasizing the importance of building relations & engaging in critical self-reflection, I describe an unlikely alliance between Indigenous & Afro-Descendant peoples towards territorial defense in the face of both legal and outlawed armed actors interested in extracting the gold riches from their ancestral territories. I discuss both autonomous and ‘inter-ethnic’ strategies for survival and self-determination, and hone-in on the experience of the Embera Chamí Indigenous People of the Resguardo Indígena Cañamomo Lomaprieta (Caldas) to examine the contested sovereignties & legalities of diverse actors vying to access & regulate the Embera Chami’s ancestral gold. Grounding my analysis in long-term, fine-grained ethnography of key moments in exercising Indigenous law, governance—and ultimately, resurgence—I tease out implications for the theory and practice of legal pluralities; and for collaborative ethnography and research. Specifically, I argue the need for a sharper theoretical lens that makes visible & takes as a starting point the violent realities that shape day-to-day life for Indigenous peoples in Colombia, without losing analytical purchase on their extraordinary efforts towards Indigenous resurgence in this lethal context.

Viviane Weitzner, SSHRC Postdoctoral Researcher, McGill University

Contact:
Barbra Lalonde
bb13@queensu.ca
77210
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