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  • Urban Indigeneities: Being Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century

    SPEAKERS: Andrew Canessa, University of Essex & Dana Brablec, CEDLA - UvA DISCUSSANT: Adriana Churampi, Leiden University DATE: 19 April 2024 ACTIVITY: CEDLA LECTURE & Book discussion ​ Today a majority of Indigenous peoples live in urban areas: they are builders and cleaners, teachers and lawyers, market women and masons, living in towns and cities surrounded by the people and pollution that characterize life for most individuals in the twenty-first century. Despite this basic fact, the vast majority of studies on Indigenous peoples concentrate solely on rural Indigenous populations. Aiming to highlight these often-overlooked communities, this is the first book to look at urban Indigenous peoples globally and present the urban Indigenous experience—not as the exception but as the norm. The contributing essays draw on a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, architecture, land economy, and area studies, and are written by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars. The analysis looks at Indigenous people across the world, including five chapters based on the Latin American region. Indigeneity is often seen as being “authentic” when it is practiced in remote rural areas, but these essays show that a vigorous, vibrant, and meaningful indigeneity can be created in urban spaces too. The book challenges many of the imaginaries and tropes of what constitutes “the Indigenous” and offers perspectives and tools to understand a contemporary Indigenous urban reality.

  • The Myth of the ‘Golden Age’: Unpacking Javier Milei’s Claims about Early 20th Century Argentina

    SPEAKER: Lucas Poy, VU Amsterdam DISCUSSANT: Michiel Baud, CEDLA - UvA DATE: 5 April TIME: 15.30-17.00, followed by drinks and snacks ACTIVITY: CEDLA LECTURE His campaign videos, featuring a chainsaw as a symbol of his promise to cut state expenses, captured global attention. Since his inauguration as Argentina’s president in December 2023, Javier Milei has lived up to his promise, implementing neoliberal reforms, layoffs, and privatizations. Venturing into historical comparisons, Milei claimed that he wants to restore Argentina to its past glory, asserting that it was ‘the richest country in the world’ in the early 20th century. He refers to a period when Argentina was governed by an oligarchic regime that combined liberal economic policies with fraudulent electoral practices. The claim that Argentina experienced a ‘golden age’ under such liberal governments remains more than dubious. The prosperity was certainly not experienced by the mass of workers who tirelessly contributed to the export boom in rural settings, nor by those who worked in factories and dwelled in tenement houses in the big cities. It was even less golden for the indigenous population, systematically displaced and subjected to violence. In this lecture, Dr. Lucas Poy provides an overview of Argentina during the years of the ‘orden conservador’ (1880-1916), focusing on the main weaknesses of the export boom, the working and living conditions of the working class, and their struggles for labour and democratic rights.

  • Book presentation: After the Decolonial. Ethnicity, Gender and Social Justice in Latin America

    David Lehmann, University of Cambridge 12 May 2023 Activity: CEDLA Lecture After the Decolonial examines the sources of Latin American decolonial thought, its reading of precursors like Fanon and Levinas and its historical interpretations. In extended treatments of the anthropology of ethnicity, law and religion and of the region’s modern culture, Lehmann sets out the bases of a more grounded interpretation, drawing inspiration from Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, and from a lifelong engagement with issues of development, religion and race. The decolonial places race at the centre of its interpretation of injustice and, together with the multiple other exclusions dividing Latin American societies, traces it to European colonialism. But it has not fully absorbed the uniquely unsettling nature of Latin American race relations, which perpetuate prejudice and inequality, yet are marked by métissage, pervasive borrowing and mimesis. Moreover, it has not integrated its own disruptive feminist branch, and it has taken little interest in either the interwoven history of indigenous religion and hegemonic Catholicism or the evangelical tsunami which has upended so many assumptions about the region’s culture. The book concludes that in Latin America, where inequality and violence are more severe than anywhere else, and where COVID-19 has revealed the deplorable state of the institutions charged with ensuring the basic requirements of life, the time has come to instate a universalist concept of social justice, encompassing a comprehensive approach to race, gender, class and human rights.

  • Disturbing Heritage and Decolonial Thought: Huaco Retrato as an Anti-Museum

    Dr. Reindert Dhondt Assistant Professor Hispanic Literature, Utrecht University 2 June 2023 Activity: CEDLA Lecture Contemporary decolonial thought questions the role museums have played and continue to play in the constitution of the Eurocentric aesthetic and epistemic order that characterizes the modern/colonial world system. Both ethnographic and art museums are often seen as expressions of imperial power which (re)produce the colonial gaze in the sense that they not only conserve historical artefacts, but have also erased other worlds and forms of thinking or sensing. In this talk I will discuss how contemporary Latin American literature engages with colonial objects and the act of collecting, and functions as an agent of decolonization. As a case-study, I will examine how the autofictional novel Huaco retrato (2021) by Peruvian-born author Gabriela Wiener reveals the darker side of Western modernity –of which the museum is a key institution– by paying attention to ‘stolen memories’ (Mignolo) and silenced voices, and by re-signifying forgotten or looted artefacts as bearers of affective memories that are closely tied to the narrator’s complex descent and the construction of her gender and ethnic identity. Because of this entanglement between heritage and subjectivity, the novel critically revisions the cultural memory constructed by museums and colonial exhibitions.

  • Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy in the Caribbean

    Dr. Chelsea Schields (University of California, Irvine) Discussants: Dr. Wigbertson Julian Isenia (UvA-Anthropology) & Dr. Mikki Stelder (UvA-ASCA) DATE: Monday 9 October Activity: TRANSREGIONAL DIALOGUE #1 in collaboration with ARTES Offshore Attachments reveals how the contested management of sex and race transformed the Caribbean into a crucial site in the global oil economy. By the mid-twentieth century, the Dutch islands of Curaçao and Aruba housed the world’s largest oil refineries. To bolster this massive industrial experiment, oil corporations and political authorities offshored intimacy, circumventing laws regulating sex, reproduction, and the family in a bid to maximize profits and turn Caribbean subjects into citizens. Historian Chelsea Schields demonstrates how Caribbean people both embraced and challenged efforts to alter intimate behavior in service to the energy economy. Moving from Caribbean oil towns to European metropolises and examining such issues as sex work, contraception, kinship, and the constitution of desire, Schields narrates a surprising story of how racialized concern with sex shaped hydrocarbon industries as the age of oil met the end of empire.

  • Afro-Colombian Culture under the Threat of Armed Conflict

    Dr. Jaime Arocha - Departamento de Antropología / Grupo de Estudios Afrocolombianos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia 11 February 2011 Activity: CEDLA Lecture In the Pacific coast of Colombia, African captive men and women developed adaptations to the ecosystems in which they were forced to live during colonial times. In the course of time, these innovations have been a necessary and crucial element of environmental and social sustainability. Today this eco-social system is threatened by armed conflict and modernization, but public policy makers have not responded to safeguard them.

  • BRAZIL Favelas: Financialization 2.0 - in(fra)vestments

    "Three challenges facing Brazil in the global economic transition: Financialization 2.0, in(fra)vestments, favelas" Professor Gary Dymski - Leeds University Business School Discussant: Dr Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA) 22 March 2011 Activity: Globe Lecture Series Developing nations face huge challenges in the post-2008 global economy, as they attempt to not only sustain growth but to cope with the strategic adjustments being made by the US and the EU and their corporate leaderships. Brazil’s situation is especially precarious because of its population’s heightened expectations (“O Novo Brazil”), because of its growing export ties to the US, EU, and to China, and because its successes in reducing extreme poverty have now led to the challenge of invigorating its informal, lower-income communities. After tracing out the main lines and implications of the still-unfolding crisis in the US and the EU, we focus on three specific challenges for Brazil. The first involves contending with the post-crisis developments in financialization, both domestically and abroad; the second is how to manage investment so as to permit continued growth and also address the nation’s infrastructure deficit; and the third is to work out sustainable futures for Brazilian cities’ favelas and the people who live there. Of course, these three challenges are all the harder because they tied up in an interconnected series of knots. Gary Dymski is professor of economics at the University of California, Riverside. He received his B.A. in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975, and an MPA from Syracuse University in 1977. After a year at the Brookings Institution in 1985-86, he taught economics at the University of Southern California before joining the UCR faculty in 1991. He served as associate dean in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in 2001-02 and was founding director of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development in 2002-03. From 2003 to 2009, Gary was the founding Executive Director of the University of California Center, Sacramento, a UC-wide center that introduced UC students to public service and connected UC researchers with California’s policy-making community. Gary has been a visiting scholar in universities and research centers in Brazil, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Greece, and India. His most recent books are Capture and Exclude: Developing Nations and the Poor in Global Finance (Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2007), co-edited with Amiya Bagchi, and Reimagining Growth: Toward a Renewal of the Idea of Development, co-edited with Silvana DePaula (Zed, London, 2005). Gary has published articles, chapters, and studies on banking, financial fragility, urban development, credit-market discrimination, the Latin American and Asian subprime financial crises, exploitation, housing finance, the subprime lending crisis, financial regulation, and economic policy. He is a member of the editorial boards of the International Review of Applied Economics, Geoforum, and Econômica (Brazil).

  • Crisis and cryptos in Latin America

    One-day seminar organized by Social and Cultural Anthropology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and CEDLA 29 September 2022 Audience: Master students and researchers Leiden, UvA, VU, UU Amount: around 50 participants (to be confirmed soon) Form: Hybrid For decades, various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have faced persistent economic challenges, such as chronic inflation, hyperinflation, and far-reaching economic constraints due to international trading sanctions and closed borders related to geopolitical interests and global energy markets. These regional economic precarities have pushed both lower and middle-class communities in Latin America and the Caribbean to look for alternatives when they see again their income evaporate and empty ATMs. The recent Covid-19 crisis has once more revealed how unexpected economic backlashes, tied to overlapping health and (geo)political crises, further exacerbate existing economic and social inequalities in the region. At the same time, we are facing an enormous growth of new digital solutions for day-to-day economic exchange and trade in Latin America. One of the most widespread recent trends associated to digital economies is bitcoin and other global cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum, or local criptomonedas, such as el petro in Venezuela. The premises of freedom, decentralization, autonomy, self-learning, and resistance –renewed promises deriving from the invention of the blockchain– has increasingly attracted many Latin American and Caribbean communities (Pinheiro and Vasen 2021).

  • In the Name of Christ: Violence, Religion, and Politics in Post-Revolutionary Mexico

    13/5/22, 15.30h Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Activity: CEDLA Lecture Gema Kloppe-Santamaria, Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Loyola University Chicago What were the political and cultural drivers that contributed to shaping Catholics’ understanding of violence as a legitimate means to defend their religious practices and beliefs in post-revolutionary Mexico? In this talk, Dr. Gema Santamaria will focus on the 1930s-1950s, a period marked by the end of the Cristero War (1927-1929) - Mexico’s armed conflict over the religious question - and the so-called détente between the Mexican state and the Catholic Church. Despite the Church’s official rejection of the use of violence amongst the faithful, during this period Catholics continued to engage in belligerent and violent forms of religious militancy in the name of Christ and religious freedom. This, she argues, reflects the weight that non-canonical understandings of martyrdom, sacrifice, and redemptive violence had in Catholics’ exercise of religion. Catholics’ aggressive defence of religious symbols and places, together with their attacks against individuals perceived as “polluting” or “impious”, show that moral and symbolic considerations were deeply intertwined with uncompromising political ideologies and long-term intra-community conflicts. Discussant: Prof. Wil Pansters, Utrecht University

  • Diálogos con Leyner Palacios: reporte final de la Comisión colombiana de la Verdad desde la perspect

    4/7/22, 16:00h Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Organizadores: NALACS & CEDLA Leyner Palacios es gestor de paz y luchador incansable por los derechos y la dignidad de las víctimas de la guerra en Colombia. Ha sido Secretario General de la Comisión Interétnica por la Verdad del Pacífico (CIVP) y actualmente Lidera la construcción de capítulo étnico y de recomendaciones de la Comisión colombiana de la Verdad. Dr. Abbey Steele, profesora asociada del Departamento de Ciencia Política de la Universidad de Ámsterdam. Ha sido investigadora de temas relacionados con el conflicto armado en Colombia y autora del libro: Democracy and Displacement in Colombia's Civil War (Democracia y Desplazamiento en la guerra civil en Colombia, 2017). La Comisión para el Esclarecimiento de la Verdad, la Convivencia y la No Repetición (CEV) es una institución pública creada bajo el marco de la firma del Acuerdo de Paz de 2016, como parte del Sistema Integral de Verdad, Justicia, Reparación y No Repetición - SIVJRNR. Actualmente, la CEV está trabajando en la culminación del informe final que será presentado oficialmente al Presidente, las Altas Cortes y el Congreso el 28 de junio. Este informe es el resultado de tres años de diálogos sociales, escuchas a víctimas y agresores, y eventos de reconocimiento en diferentes territorios, a nivel nacional. El Comisionado Leyner Palacios, es un líder chocoano, abogado de profesión con una trayectoria de más de 20 años de trabajo con comunidades en la región del Chocó y diferentes zonas del Pacífico colombiano. Actualmente es uno de los 10 comisionados de la verdad y representa la voz de las víctimas afrocolombianas del conflicto armado, al ser el mismo sobreviviente de la masacre de Bojayá. Junto a la Comisionada Patricia Tobón (comisionada indígena), lideró la construcción del capítulo étnico que forma parte del informe final. Este conversatorio es una oportunidad para establecer un diálogo entre la academia, las organizaciones e instituciones interesadas y la diáspora colombiana/latinoamericana en Países Bajos, sobre el informe final de la CEV. Durante la actividad se abordarán los principales hallazgos del informe y las recomendaciones con un enfoque particular en los aspectos étnicos: racismo estructural; violencias contra los pueblos originarios mediante la imposición cultural ideológica; discriminación racial y negación del pueblo negro y persecución cultural del pueblo gitano. Con la participación de: ​ Ilustración: Camila Bolívar - ​Leyner Palacios, líder social y comisionado de la Verdad.

  • CEDLA exposition "SOS Colombia"

    The exposition will be on display until Friday 25 November. Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Activity: CEDLA Photo Exhibition SOS Colombia is an exhibition that brings together the work of several artists and collectives through graphics (posters), fanzines, stickers, photography and video produced during and following the Colombian social uprising of April 2021. These images and many more reverberated in the streets peacefully, without ceasing to demand justice and a stop to police brutality. The exhibition is curated by Juan David Quintero Arbeláez, who will be with us online during the opening of the exhibition.

  • China’s increasing presence in Latin America and the Caribbean

    What are the implications for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the EU? Time: Friday 9 September 2022, 13:00–16:30 Place: Clingendael Institute, Clingendael 7, 2597 VH The Hague Organiser: CEDLA-UvA Far away from the new Cold War on European soil, Latin American and Caribbean countries are faced with crucial decisions. How do they shape the future of their societies, and importantly, which external actors do they trust to help them? For the region the challenge is more complex than a simple contrast between Chinese economic power and US and European values. This complexity is visible on both sides of the equation. On the one hand, the Chinese economic involvement does not necessarily or consistently threaten democratic values in the region and, on the other, US (and European) involvement does not necessarily always bring respect for human rights and democracy.

  • Drama of Violence and Violence of Drama: Scattered Visions on Theatre in Latin America

    11 November 2022, 15:30-17:00 Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Organiser: CEDLA Lecture Speaker: Kati Röttger, University of Amsterdam The history of theatre in Latin America is genuinely dramatic, because it is closely connected with the history of colonialism and its postcolonial traces. What we currently know as theatre and drama was violently introduced by the Spanish colonizers and played a crucial role during the so-called acculturation of the indigenous inhabitants of the region. The question of drama in Latin America must be therefore understood in the double sense of the word: as a metaphorical category to describe traumatic or conflictive events (which define the colonial and postcolonial history) as well as the categorization of the genre which prefigurates theatre performances. Both together brought forth a ‘theatre of crisis’ which up to now is labelled as a paradigmatic feature of theatre in Latin America. In her lecture, professor of Theatre Studies Kati Röttger will delve into various examples of ‘theatre of crisis’ to demonstrate to which extend diverse playwrights and theatre groups in the 20th and 21st century have developed an idiosyncratic aesthetics of violence, subverting canonical European forms of drama and theatre to perform the ‘anatomy of violence’ (Mapa Teatro) at stake.

  • Colombia: ¿Dónde están los desaparecidos?

    22 November 2022, 15:30-17:00 Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Organizadores: CEDLA & PBI Ponente: Andrea Torres, co-directora de la Fundación Nydia Erika Bautista (FNEB) En colaboración con Peace Brigades International tendremos una charla de la abogada y activista colombiana Andrea Torres quien es también co-directora de la Fundación Nydia Erika Bautista (FNEB). La FNEB está conformada en su mayoría por mujeres familiares de desaparecidos en Colombia y es una pieza fundamental para la representación legal, visibilidad y apoyo a las víctimas de desaparecimiento forzado, violencia sexual y brutalidad policial en el país. Andrea Torres representa a víctimas en varios casos, tanto en la justicia ordinaria como en el sistema de justicia transicional (JEP), donde la mayoría de los acusados son miembros de la fuerza pública. La FNEB logró que el desaparecimiento forzado fuera incluido como crimen de lesa humanidad en los Acuerdos de Paz del 2016. Detuvo la expansión del Puerto de Buenaventura –de los más importantes del país—en el Estero de San Antonio dónde hay indicaciones de cuerpos de desaparecidos que fueron arrojados ahí. Acompañan a víctimas de abuso policial y desaparecimiento en el marco del Paro Nacional del 2021. Torres nos contará sobre los diversos procesos y dificultades que tiene ella como activista y su organización para traer justicia a las víctimas de desaparecimiento forzado. Seguido de la charla queremos invitarles a visitar la exposición SOS Colombia con arte gráfico producido el año pasado durante las protestas en Colombia y continuar la conversación con una copa de vino.

  • The politics of social protection in times of crisis: COVID-19 and cash transfers in Latin America

    25 November 2022 Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Organization: CEDLA Lecture Merike Blofield, University of Hamburg The socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were particularly severe for the most vulnerable households in Latin America. Governments’ social protection responses determined whether families could still cover their basic necessities during this crisis. In a new comparative study on the cash transfer responses in ten Latin American countries, Professor Merike Blofield and colleagues have found a huge variation, ranging from generous responses in Brazil and Chile, to virtually no response in Mexico. In her lecture, Blofield will discuss the main findings and the three interactive variables that explain for this variation: policy legacies, divided government, and fiscal space. Her research shows that in times of crisis, the politics of social policy can change profoundly, with traditional factors like ideology and electoral competition playing a less central role than under normal circumstances.

  • Indigenous Peoples and the Environment in Brazil: Public Anthropology and Activist Perspectives

    Speaker: Henyo Barretto (University of Brasilia) and Adriana Ramos (Climate Observatory) 17 March 2023, 16.00-17.30 Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Activity: CEDLA Lecture The lecture will propose an understanding of recent transformations in Brazilian socio-environmental policy and arena, with an emphasis on the social effects of national development projects on territorial (and other) rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities. It will be an attempt to understand the country’s recent political context based, in part, on the production of the commissions of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA), understood as a peculiar site of knowledge production and political advocacy. Evidences from the documents show that the assaults against the environmental legislation and the rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities are not a recent phenomenon in Brazil. A tentative assessment of the prospects of these trends under the new Lula administration will be sketched by way of conclusion. Henyo T. Barretto Filho is professor at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Brasília, Brazil and was coordinator of Indigenous Affairs Commission of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA). Adriana Ramos is journalist and activist, former coordinator of the Socioenvironmental Policy and Law Program of the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), and is currently member of the Coordination of the Civil Society Organizations’ coalition Climate Observatory. Picture: Indigenous women in Brazil have lead protests during Bolsonaro's rule | Survival International

  • The Human Costs of the War on Drugs: Attitudes towards Militarization of Security in Mexico

    Juan Masullo J., Leiden University 31 March 2023, 15.30-17.00 Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor Activity: CEDLA Lecture The militarization of security enjoys strong popular support in various crime-ridden countries, particularly in Latin America. Yet, we know little about the determinants of such support. Do people support militarization even in the face of human fatalities? We tackle this question in the context of Mexico's "war on drugs". In three experimental studies, we assess the presence of human costs in a military operation against a drug lord and present arguments either justifying or condemning these costs. We consistently find that, even in successful operations, Mexicans’ support for militarization decreases when military operations involve civilian casualties, but not when casualties are cartel-related. This finding holds both for victims and non-victims of cartel-related violence. These and other findings shed light on the public opinion side of the militarization of security debate, with important implications for security policy reform and democratic politics in Latin America and beyond.

  • Gold rush in the 'lithium triangle'

    PHOTO EXHIBITION APRIL - JUNE 2023 ​ Felix Dorn, University of Vienna Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Development Studies - Storytelling and documentary photography The world's largest (and most profitable) lithium deposits are found in South America's so-called ‘lithium triangle’, which stretches from the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) to the Salar de Atacama (Chile) and a series of smaller salt flats in northwest Argentina. In recent years, the boom around the ‘white gold’ lithium has given rise to a large number of new mining projects. +INFO

  • Lideresas Afrocolombianas: sus luchas por la vida y el territorio

    NALACS & CEDLA en colaboración con Mensen met een Missie, ala Colombia 5 abril 2023, 16:00h Actividad: Diálogos con la sociedad civil Durante la pandemia por COVID-19, los asesinatos a líderes, lideresas sociales y defensoras de derechos humanos seguían en aumento en Colombia. Para el 23 de noviembre de 2021 se registraron 1.270 asesinatos desde la Firma de los Acuerdos de Paz, el 24 de noviembre 2016 (Cifras Indepaz). Durante esta sesión de conoceremos dos proyectos de la fundación Mensen met een Missie y sus co-partes aliadas en Colombia: el fotolibro 50 rostros e historias de lideresas y defensoras por la vida de María Alejandra Rivera (Coordinadora de Programas de MM en Colombia de Mensen met een Missie) junto con el fotoperiodista Federico Ríos Escobar (NYTimes), y la investigación Relatos afrosanjuaneños Mujeres líderes, sanación memoria y paz de Martha Luz Machado Caicedo (CEDLA Alumni). +INFO

  • Energy transition and environmental conflict in the Andes: Lithium extraction in Argentina

    Felix Dorn, University of Vienna 21 April 2023 Activity: CEDLA Lecture & Opening of the Photo Exhibition ABOUT THE LECTURE: The global transition to a ‘green’ energy system is increases the demand and extraction of certain ‘critical’ resources, including lithium. This growing demand for raw materials has sparked a new debate on the global interdependencies and unevenness of the emergent energy transition. In this lecture, Felix Dorn discusses this strand of literature, and argues that the global interconnections of the green energy transition influence the transition imaginaries, ideas, goals, and decisions of different localities of extraction. Highlighting actors, institutions, conflicts, narratives and material dimensions, the political economy of lithium mining and energy transition in Argentina reveals the reproduction of an emerging new ‘green’ consensus based on techno-optimism, ecological modernization and green growth. ABOUT THE PHOTO EXHIBITION: Gold rush in the 'lithium triangle' The light metal lithium, an important element for Li-Ion batteries, is now considered a strategic resource for the 21st century. The electrification of transport is expected to make a decisive contribution to reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Lithium plays a key role in this. While only 2-3g of lithium are used in a smartphone battery, the production of an electric vehicle requires an average of 8-40kg, about ten thousand times that amount. The world's largest (and most profitable) lithium deposits are found in South America's so-called ‘lithium triangle’, which stretches from the Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) to the Salar de Atacama (Chile) and a series of smaller salt flats in northwest Argentina. In recent years, the boom around the ‘white gold’ lithium has given rise to a large number of new mining projects. With an average of 38-200mm of rainfall per year, this region (Puna-Atacama-Altiplano) is one of the driest areas on earth. Characterised by volcanic rocks, salt deserts, steppe and sand dunes, this high desert has been inhabited for centuries by indigenous communities, especially Atacameños, Kolla, Lickanantay and Quechua. Historically marginalised in the global and respective national context, due to the sharp increase in lithium extraction many communities suddenly find themselves at the centre of global economic processes. The local population is increasingly polarised: On the one hand, lithium mining revitalises hopes for wage labour and economic development; on the other hand, the large-scale concessioning of indigenous territories results in a restriction of traditional activities and great concern for local water resources. As a result, roadblocks and local protests take place in some cases. The case of lithium exemplifies that new technologies always reflect the social relations they emerge from and are often based on exclusive access to (strategic) resources, reproducing and creating socio-ecological inequalities. In this photo project, I use the example of lithium to explore how dominant narratives about the energy transition make a region align itself with the export of a single raw material and how this influences the self-perception of the inhabitants. The social construction of the ‘lithium triangle’ thereby contrasts the diverging local ideas of development and modernity. At the same time, far-reaching changes, adaptations, and hybrids also take place in the villages and indigenous communities.

  • Waste as an Anthropological Issue

    17 May 2023, 16.00 - 17.30 Activity: Centcoop, ResiduaLab, Navi and CEDLA Event May 17 marks World Recycling Day, officially declared by UNESCO, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of recycling as a tool for proper waste management and to mitigate climate change. For this reason, we decided to meet that day and present a series of research results that have been produced in the dialogue and experience of anthropologists in Brazil and the Netherlands, and also present the trajectory of the social movement of collectors in Brazil, through the speech of Aline Souza, President Director of Centcoopdf, the biggest reference in South America for the Work Cooperatives of Collectors of Recyclable Materials. PROGRAM Cristhian Caje and Barbara Arisi (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) Circular economy: garbage/solid waste anthropologies and innovative experiences between Latin America and the Netherlands. Aline Souza (Centcoopdf) The social movements of waste pickers in Brazil. Maria Raquel Passos Lima (Laboratory of Social Studies of Waste - ResiduaLab /UERJ.) "Anthropology of waste: theoretical, ethnographical and political perspectives from the south". Carmen Rial (UFSC, Brazil) Cornelia Eckert (UFRGS, Brazil) Report of an experience in the Netherlands, an ethnographic look at the circular economy.

  • Chile’s new National Lithium Policy: Questions, agreements and disagreements among multi-scale actor

    Hugo Romero, Universidad de Chile 27 June 2023 Activity: Lecture co-organized with Worlds of Lithium (AISSR & ERC) On April 21, 2023, the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, announced the long expected National Lithium Policy. The reactions of local, national and global social actors have been mostly in opposition to its content, in particular to the proposal of a public-private institution that takes charge of lithium exploitation, ecological protection and the establishment of agreements with local communities. In this lecture, Dr. Hugo Romero presents a critical analysis of Chile’s new lithium policy, based on the physical geographic knowledge and the socio-ecological and territorial power relations that exist in the salt flats of the Atacama Desert. The main objective of the new policy is to recover Chile’s first place in world production, to serve the financial needs of the state. Internationally, the proposal has been criticized, accusing it of “nationalization”, and business organizations consider the participation of the subsidiary state in mining activity unnecessary. While academic communities are concerned about the lack of scientific knowledge to make decisions, the Council of Atacameño Peoples has indicated that they were not considered in the elaboration of a policy that does not protect their territorial integrity. Watch here the announcement of the long expected National Lithium Policy

  • Sovereignty in the Anthropocene: In a world where ecological issues transcend borders

    It's time to rethink our governance and decision-making processes Harvard Professor Diane E. Davis DATE: 19 October 2023 Activity: AISSR Lecture organized in cooperation with CEDLA Join us for our second and upcoming AISSR Lecture, featuring Diane E. Davis - Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design - as she delves into the vital link between natural systems and urban management. Breaking free from outdated notions of sovereignty, Prof. Davis challenges the status quo, paving the way for effective 21st-century responses to ecological challenges. We're in the Anthropocene, where human influence on the planet is undeniable. It's time to adapt our governance. ✴ How do we navigate urban complexities in a borderless ecological context? ✴ How can we prioritize ecological well-being alongside human needs? The lecture will be followed by a conversation between Diane E. Davis and John Grin, Professor of public policy and governance at the AISSR. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the future of governance in an ever-changing world.

  • Voices of the Cerrado – Hearing and learning from traditional and indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Savanna

    GUESTS: Rede Cerrado, ISPN and APIB DATE: 11 March 2024 ACTIVITY: DIALOGUES WITH CIVIL SOCIETY (NALACS) LANGUAGE: Portuguese with English translation Have you ever heard of the Brazilian Cerrado? It’s a unique but not very well-known biome of stunning natural beauty, home to many plants, animals and peoples, but under increasing threat from agricultural expansion. During this dialogue, the indigenous leaders Dinamam Tuxá and Eliane Xunakalo, together with the traditional peoples’ leadership of Lourdes Nascimento and Samuel – the general coordinator and the advisor for the Cerrado Network, respectively – will tell their personal stories about this the critical relevance and the challenges taking place in the biome. The guests will approach the current reality faced by the Cerrado Peoples in their territory and the vital importance of this land for their lives and for the conservation of biodiversity and halting climate change. They will share their perspectives about the protection of nature and their cultures from and the need to tackle the increasing threats of rapid soy expansion for animal feed and livestock production over their lands. The Netherlands is one of the main importers of this soy produced in the Cerrado, as the country is an important trading route and end-user of soy for feed in the intensive Dutch livestock industry. The European Union recently adopted a new regulation to curb Europe’s deforestation footprint – an important step forward, but will it help to combat the destruction of Cerrado’s natural habitats? In this dialogue session, we will learn more about the reality of the Cerrado and its local peoples, and jointly explore strategies and solutions to protect the Cerrado, to save their lands as well as our collective future.

  • Sexual Culture and Transition to Democracy in Argentina: A History of the Reconstruction of Society

    SPEAKER: Natalia Milanesio, University of Houston DATE: 8 March 2024 ACTIVITY: CEDLA LECTURE How did the restoration of democracy in 1983, after years of repression and censorship, transform sexuality and representations and ideas about sexuality? This talk answers this question by examining the unparalleled sexualization of Argentine culture and society after the fall of the last military dictatorship that contemporaries called the destape. Omnipresent, sex was not only about fantasies and indulgence, but was also imbued with a myriad of social, political, and cultural positive meanings—including citizenship, social progress, national development, and modernity. These meanings made sexual culture into a powerful metaphor for democracy and the reconstruction of Argentine society.

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