Navigating shifting waters : subjectivity, oil extraction, and Urarina territorial strategies in the Peruvian Amazon
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This paper examines the relationships between extractive infrastructure, changing territorial strategies, and contemporary processes of subject formation among the Urarina, an indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. We first introduce the uneven and combined character of oil extraction in the Loreto region in north-eastern Peru, and how its racialised spatial contradictions are expressed in the ethnopolitical field that gives political form to regional extractive operations. The paper goes on to analyse the case of the Urarina people in the Chambira river basin, their particular place in the geography of extraction, and the case of the community of Nueva Union. We examine contemporary processes of subject formation in the community, which combine radical transformations in the role of money, territorial strategies, use and valuation of the environment, and changes in political structure, in non-linear ways. The paper closes by examining how the case of the community of Nueva Union sheds light on broader dynamics of subject formation, localised relations to the environment, and extraction as they play out in contemporary indigenous Amazonia.
Andueza , L M , del Águila Villacorta , M , Cole , L E S , Davies , A L , Fabiano , E , Honorio Coronado , E N , Laurie , N , Lawson , I T , Martín Brañas , M , Mozombite Ruíz , W , Núñez Pérez , C , Roucoux , K H & Wheeler , C 2023 , ' Navigating shifting waters : subjectivity, oil extraction, and Urarina territorial strategies in the Peruvian Amazon ' , Geoforum , vol. 146 , 103867 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2023.103867
DescriptionThis research was possible thanks to the Leverhulme Project Research Grant RPG-2018-306: Valuing intact tropical peatlands: an interdisciplinary challenge, and the St Andrews Restarting Research Fund grant. Emanuele Fabiano also thanks “ECO - Animals and Plants in Cultural Productions about the Amazon River Basin” (Program H2020, Grant agreement N.° 101002359) funded by the European Research Council and managed by the Centro de Estudos Socias (CES) de la Universidad de Coimbra.), and Euridice N. Honorio Coronado would like to thank the NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (grant ref no. NE/V018760/1).
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