Thursday, November 2, 2017
Ñande terã Ore Comunidad: Indigenous and Campesino Territorialization and Dispossession in Northern Paraguay
How does identity mediate land rights and territorialization? What are the local and everyday impacts of land titling regimes? What happens to people and communities in the aftermath of titling? Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in northern Paraguay, my paper will compare and contrast these questions in the context of indigenous and campesino communities. While many communities still struggle for title, deforestation by Brazilian and elite Paraguayan extractive agro-industry (ranching, soy, marijuana) simultaneously spurs dispossession for those who have successfully claimed it. Through theory from peasant studies, applied anthropology, indigeneity, and geography, I analyze the concept of “community” as a term that unites space and place at the uneasy junction of the particular. First I lay out how an indigenous and a campesino "community" are legally recognized in Paraguay. Then I explore the implications of these differences at local, political, and spatial scales. Finally, I look at the fall-out of those practical assumptions made about "communities" in both legal and NGO practices in Paraguay, and I argue for the need for a historical and relational understanding of what a community is, or could be.
While anthropogenic change has accelerated the rate of climate change at an unprecedented rate, the archaeological record captures many examples of what happens when cultures have faced a changing climate. Although climatic explanations for change in the U.S. Southwest / Northwest Mexico remain controversial and highly limited, the archeological record reveals non-economic loss and damage (NELD). While non-Puebloans in collaboration with archaeologists can only speculate on the full extent of NELD, many of the changes in the pre-Hispanic history of the ancestral Puebloan peoples are correlated with changes in the climate. While most archeologists have moved away from models that link these significant NELDs to climatic forces, they document NELD associated with climate changes. Pueblo history is also a powerful example of resilience and cultural continuity as Pueblo peoples have persisted to this day despite adversity and colonial suppression. Drawing from ongoing research in the Río Sonora in Northwest Mexico and academic discourse on the broad trajectory of Pueblo history, this presentation examines the kinds of losses from climate change that have occurred that no amount of money could ever bring back.
The Kichwa Añangu Community lives in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park. As a community, they have chosen to dedicate their livelihood to community-owned tourism, or what is commonly called turismo comunitario in Ecuador. Tourism brings multiple, ongoing challenges to the Añangu Community. Shifting market demands, growing regional and transnational competition, and large-scale climate events each present ongoing vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the Añangu do not own rights to the petroleum reserves quietly resting under their land. Nonetheless, they persist in their tourism project and have become recognized as a model for community-owned tourism in Ecuador. In part, this research seeks to explore why the Añangu Community has chosen to not only pursue, but expand their involvement in community-owned tourism. Ultimately, this research demonstrates that tourism is locally embraced as a vehicle for livelihood wellbeing, environmental stewardship, and cultural reclamation. The key question then becomes, why is the Añangu Community’s tourism project successful? Here, I argue that through community agency and governance, the Añangu Community is able to practice economic, environmental, and cultural self-determination via their local control of the tourism project.