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The "people of the center" and their political action: an anthropology of conflict in the contemporary Amazon

Grant number: 12/18482-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2012
Effective date (End): October 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal researcher:Evelina Dagnino
Grantee:Marco Alejandro Tobón Ocampo
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The main purpose of this study is to understand how the Uitoto, Muinane, Andoke and Nonuya, indigenous people of the Colombian Amazon - the self-appointed 'People of the Centre' - envisage their social life and construct autonomous political positions to oppose the participants in the armed conflict, the FARC guerillas and army officers. The Colombian civil war, which has lasted more than fifty years, has extended its dynamic fleet in the last decade to the Amazonian territory of the indigenous people. These facts require a serious analysis which explains the humanitarian situation and the reality that war has created for these indigenous people. To deepen the understanding of the humanitarian conditions generated by conflict, this study will appeal to ethnographic resources which have a direct focus on the experiences in which culture plays a part in the organisation of political action and the process of local resistance. It proposes, therefore, to contribute to the approaches that conceive culture as a fundamental mode of political action. This perspective is framed in the current debates of Amazonian anthropology which has the challenge of exploring how the indigenous way of life and daily cultural practices integrate the defense of their political autonomy and the construction of regional history. (AU)

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