Alternautas <p><strong>Alternautas</strong> is a multi-disciplinary journal devoted to counter-balancing mainstream understandings of development in/from Latin America – Abya Yala. <strong>Alternautas</strong> emerges from a desire to bridge language barriers by bringing Latin-American critical development thinking to larger, English-speaking audiences. The journal covers a broad range of development issues in a mix of regular and special issues. The journal was launched in 2014 and is fully open-access without fees for readers or authors.</p> <p>4 Days avg. from Submission to First Editorial Decision (2022)</p> University of Warwick Press en-US Alternautas 2057-4924 Introduction to the Special Issue “Critical perspectives on Development, State Formation and Extractivism in the Amazon” <p>The articles in this issue provide a variety of perspectives on recent transformations in the Amazon. The first set of articles focuses on the relationship between capital, the state, and indigenous communities and movements. They explore the different political mechanisms, conflicts, and quandaries that emerge from extractivism in the Amazon. The second set of articles analyzes and documents the socio-environmental impacts faced by indigenous communities in the Amazon region. They illustrate different forms of resistance and community resilience mechanisms, as well as indigenous artistic activism in the Amazon. This issue concludes with an interview for the Dialogues section and two book reviews.&nbsp;</p> María del Pilar Ramirez Gröbli Copyright (c) 2023 María del Pilar Ramirez Gröbli 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 1 4 10.31273/an.v10i1.1407 The Inga indigenous people of Colombia as "the guardians of the land." Inga community and Communities’ leader Hernando Chindoy Chindoy <p>The leader of the Inga community shares some of the ideas behind the construction of an indigenous university in the Putumayo region of the Colombian Amazon. He also presents the book "Una Nueva Universidad Indígena en la Selva en Colombia" (A New Indigenous University in the Rainforest in Colombia).</p> María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli Copyright (c) 2023 María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 191 194 10.31273/an.v10i1.1405 Non-state actors, extractive industries, and the investment regime: What can be learned from six Amazonian investor-state disputes? <p>The international investment regime was designed to reduce political risks—risks created by government action or inaction—faced by enterprises venturing abroad. It assumes that political risks are due to unitary host states, who, guided by national interests, would confiscate profitable foreign enterprises when opportune. This article argues, however, that political risks can have a different origin. In ecologically vulnerable areas, extractive projects can be polarizing, as some groups benefit from their existence while others suffer their consequences. In this setting, non-state actors may fight legally and politically to attract or expel extractive industries, generating policy uncertainties and political risk. To check this argument, the article examines five investor-state disputes coming from extractive projects located in the Amazon and which were caused, in part or completely, by the actions of non-state actors. The cases studied provide insights into the importance of non-state actors in the investment realm as well as the inadequacies of the current investment regime.</p> Pedro Silva Copyright (c) 2023 Pedro Robrto Nunes da Silva 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 5 33 10.31273/an.v10i1.1302 Oil conflict and compromises in the Ecuadorian Amazon: the relationships between oil and indigenous people in historical perspective <p>This paper retraces the history of the relationships between indigenous people and the oil industry in Ecuador in three chronological stages: 1) unregulated and uncompensated oil development (and conflict) between the 1970s and the 1990s, 2) social compensation, material needs, and compromises at the local level starting in the 1990s, and 3) the decade of Correa’s presidency (2007–2017), marked by a new extractive compromise which emphasizes the need for oil extraction to provide people with health and education, and the institutionalization of an unfair local dilemma between environmental protection and socio-economic benefits, recorded through sometimes dubious processes of prior consultation. This account sheds light on some of the mechanisms through which open conflicts can turn (and have turned, in the Ecuadorian case) into compromises and acceptance; as the supply of powerful actors, such as large oil companies and States, meet the demands of marginal populations for necessary basic services and other socio-economic benefits which are otherwise lacking. It is a reminder that acceptance (by the local people) does not mean the situation is acceptable. Instead, it may hide cases of environmental injustice – which we more often associate with open conflict – and result in indigenous communities being left out of the analysis. This account points to the urgency of finding post-extractive development alternatives, both at the local and national levels.</p> Julie Dayot Copyright (c) 2023 Julie Dayot 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 34 62 10.31273/an.v10i1.1301 Amazonia as Territory: Poder & Potencia in Pará <p>This paper considers the dialectic of territorialization at play between the Brazilian state and traditional peoples (<em>ribeirinhos</em>) in Amazonia through Nick Clare, Victoria Habermehl, and Liz Mason-Deese’s (2018) theorization of <em>poder</em> and <em>potencia</em>. The interplay between <em>poder</em> and <em>potencia</em> becomes evident throughout the modern history of Brazilian development initiatives, interventions by capital, and social movements organized by traditional peoples. Territories of <em>poder</em> and <em>potenica</em> in the Brazilian Amazon draw from this history of dialectic territorializations which finds contemporary form in knowledge discourses and resource politics. The <em>poder</em> of the Brazilian state and extractive corporations utilizes both overwhelming scale and personal confrontations to facilitate resource requisitions. The <em>potencia</em> promised by traditional territories—reciprocal socioecologies connected to Amazonian ecosystems—suggests power derived from overlapping territorialities between humans and nonhumans. Through interviews and counter-mapping with the São Francisco community, we demonstrate that the place-based lifeways (<em>“modo de vida</em>”) of the community also sustain prefigurative potential for a territory that exceeds the logics of the state and capital.</p> Benjamin Kantner Hugo Lopes Tavares Copyright (c) 2023 Benjamin Kantner 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 63 94 10.31273/an.v10i1.1341 Livelihood alterations and Indigenous Innovators in the Ecuadorian Amazon <p>This article approaches livelihood alterations in Indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon as means of adaptation and resistance to socio-environmental impacts brought along by the expansion of global capitalism. The cases comprise collective Indigenous endeavors in typically capitalist sectors - tourism and mining - illustrated by the experiences of Kichwa community tourism in Shiripuno in the central Amazon, and sustainable mining in the southern Amazonian Shuar community of Congüime (Kenkuim). The aim is to unravel these emerging livelihood strategies in relation to Indigenous ethno-cultural identity. Methodologically, we rely on comparative and ethnographic work in the field with Indigenous actors, and on a theoretical framework anchored in the concepts of <em>innovators</em>,<em> cultural boundary</em> changes (Fredrik Barth),<em> social fields of force</em> (William Roseberry), and<em> intercultural regimes</em> (Fernando Galindo and Xavier Albó). In both empirical cases - Indigenous-controlled tourism and mining - communities are framing their ethnic identity to engage with, and positively reposition themselves in relation to the wider society. We hold that these endeavors must be comprehended as highly innovative, and that indigeneity and cultural boundaries can be strengthened by socio-cultural changes toward livelihoods previously considered as “unauthentic” or “non-Indigenous”. We also argue that these new livelihood orientations have (purposely) altered gender relations within the communities in benefit of women. Additionally, our cases suggest that cultural strengthening and gender empowerment, among other positive outcomes, requires a nuanced apprehension of indigeneity as a partly floating concept and instrument gaining ground amid the increasing interconnectedness of ancient traditions and capitalist modernity.</p> Rickard Lalander Magnus Lembke Juliana Porsani Copyright (c) 2023 Prof. Dr. Rickard Lalander, Dr. Magnus Lembke, Dr. Juliana Porsani 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 95 125 10.31273/an.v10i1.1319 “When Everything was Forest”: Aikanã Histories and Environmental Destruction in Southern Amazonia <p>This article explores how the Aikanã, speakers of an isolate language, who live in the south-eastern Amazon, in the Brazilian State of Rondônia, make sense of the drastic transformations brought about by the colonisation of this region. Through an analysis of Aikanã narratives and life histories, the article highlights how Aikanã social memory gives meaning to experiences of contact, land loss and environmental destruction. It will contemplate the temporal markers, i.e. periodisations that occur in narratives and life histories and that delineate Aikanã historicity. These temporal markers refer predominantly to an experienced past between the beginning of the 20th century and the present, from a distant period of displacement from their traditional territory and the severe loss of human lives to the transformation of the forest into pastures for cattle and soy. In this vein, temporal markers are also anchored in space, unveiling sentiments of nostalgia and ecological grief for a past fertility of social life, interconnected with the fertility of the more-than-human world of the lost forest. Exploring Aikanã narrativity and its operation in the construction of social memory, the article aims to contribute to contemporary debates on Amazonian historicities, as well as to the theoretical and political role of Amazonian socialities in face of the current environmental crisis. </p> Lisa Grund Copyright (c) 2023 Lisa Grund 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 126 154 10.31273/an.v10i1.1244 Contesting Extractivism through Amazonian Indigenous Artivism: Decolonial reflections on possibilities for crafting a pluriverse from within <p>This article provides an analysis of Amazonian Indigenous peoples’ “artivism” – understood as artistic expressions with activist orientation. It approaches artivism within the context of the emergence of Contemporary Indigenous Art in Brazil and its significance in the resistance against the centuries-long oppression of native peoples, illustrated by the advancement of extractivism in the Amazon. We focus on the artworks by four prominent Indigenous artivists: Jaider Esbell’s critical engagements with art history; Denilson Baniwa’s reanthropophagy movement; Daiara Tukano’s critique of articide; and Emerson Pontes’ transformation into Uýra, the Walking Tree. Altogether, the messages embedded in their artworks contest the dominant growth-oriented development narrative anchored on the pre-eminence of the human-nature ontological dualism, where Nature is reduced to economic resource, along with a view of development that positions western ways of knowing, being and living at the forefront of a civilizational continuum. We conclude by elucidating the central decolonizing role of Indigenous artivism and its potential to strengthen Indigenous’ voices and agendas which include exercising self-determination, resisting extractivism, and crafting more plural and just worlds.</p> Bartira Silva Fortes Juliana Porsani Rickard Lalander Copyright (c) 2023 Bartira Silva Fortes, Juliana Porsani, Rickard Lalander 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 155 190 10.31273/an.v10i1.1300 Book Review: A New Indigenous University in the Rainforest in Colombia (2020). Studio Lacaton & Vassal and ETH D-ARCH <p><em>A new indigenous university in the Colombian forest</em> is the title of this work, published in 2020 by Studio Lacaton &amp; Vassal and ETH D-ARCH. The book presents extensive visual documentation and a textual chronicle of the project to build an indigenous university in Putumayo. The publication recounts the beginnings of the project, the participants and provides reflections on the encounters. One of the main contributions in the book is made by the artist Ursula Biemann, from Devenir Universidad. She was the one who made the various contacts possible, after having made an expedition in the Colombian Amazon and having met and got to know the Inga culture. The book also presents the visions and proposals on the essential characteristics of the Inga University, which allows the construction of a first conceptual basis for the project. This document is the result of a collaboration agreement between the Polytechnic University of Zurich, Switzerland (ETH), the Department of Architecture and the Pontificia Javeriana University, Colombia with representatives of the Inga community of Putumayo.</p> María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli Copyright (c) 2023 María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 195 198 10.31273/an.v10i1.1406 Book Review: Lyons, Daniel Jack (2022) Like a River. Loose Joints <p>This review discusses a few critical aspects of representing queer individuals from the Amazon forest in the wake of Lyons' book of photographic essays. It is argued that from a scenario of under-representation, the book represents a positive step to enlighten threatened communities, even if as an intermediary step towards native forms of representation and liberation.&nbsp;</p> Helton Levy Copyright (c) 2023 Helton Levy 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 10 1 199 202 10.31273/an.v10i1.1365