Activism and Social Movements Research Group | Reading Group Meeting - Indigenous Cosmopolitics in the Andes
Goldsmiths' Activism and Social Movements Research Group hosts a monthly, cross-departmental reading group, which collectively explores issues related to the study of activism, civil society, alternative politics, social movements and other topics in an informal setting. The research group is part of the interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy.
This month we'll discuss a text which raises questions about the role of indigenous knowledges and non-anthropocentric perspectives in social movements research, see abstract below.
Please email - email@example.com to register your interest.
Cadena, M. (2010) Indigenous Cosmopolitics In The Andes - Conceptual Refections beyond "Politics"
In Latin America indigenous politics has been branded as“ethnicpolitics.”Its activism is interpreted as a quest to make cultural rights prevail. Yet, what if “culture” is insufficient, even an inadequate notion, to think the challenge that indigenous politics represents? Drawing inspiration from recent political events in Peru—and to a lesser extent in Ecuador and Bolivia—where the indigenous–popular movement has conjured sentient entities (mountains, water, and soil—what we call “nature”) into the public political arena, the argument in this essay is threefold. First, indigeneity, as a historical formation, exceeds the notion of politics as usual, that is, an arena populated by rational human beings disputing the power to represent others vis-a`-vis the state. Second, indigeneity’s current political emergence—in oppositional antimining movements in Peru and Ecuador, but also in celebratory events in Bolivia—challenges the separation of nature and culture that underpins the prevalent notion of politics and its according social contract. Third, beyond “ethnic politics” current indigenous movements, propose a different political practice, plural not because of its enactment by bodies marked by gender, race, ethnicity or sexuality (as multiculturalism would have it), but because they conjure nonhumans as actors in the political arena.
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