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Indigenous autonomies in the Brazilian Amazon: a socio-territorial panorama

Grant number: 18/22226-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Principal Investigator:Larissa Mies Bombardi
Grantee:Fábio Márcio Alkmin
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):21/06827-0 - Indigenous territories in the context of the global climate crisis: carbon geopolitics, ecosystem services, and indigenous autonomies in the Brazilian Amazon, BE.EP.DR


Since the end of the 1970's it is possible to observe an ethnic emergence in a great part of Latin-American countries. Such cultural, demographic, economic and - above all - political phenomena has favoured the rebirth of several indigenous identities that until then were subjugated under the hegemony of the national identity forged by national States during the 20th century. If in previous decades indigenous people would place their political demands under the logics of state indigenism and tutelage, nowadays, forty years later, their claim questions representativity and disputes spaces on the most various fields of power. Their demands are organized around terms such as territory (and not land), self-management and the defense of traditional knowledge, demands that converge with autonomic praxis as a concrete political strategy of territorialisation and identity defense.The hypothesis of the thesis is that, although often hidden, this autonomic praxis is gradually expanding among the indigenous movements in the Brazilian Amazon. In this sense, in the face of the continuous invasion of territories and violence against communities, added to the exhaustion of state indigenist paradigms (which in the current neoliberal conjuncture seem to have become anti-indigenous), indigenous organizations in the Amazon have been reacting through a series of autonomous strategies. Among them are the construction of consultation protocols (OIT 169), the realization of territorial self-demarcations, the creation of territorial surveillance groups, the creation of territorial self-financing mechanisms, the elaboration of self-organized educational programs, among others. The research aims at understanding this phenomenon from a socio-territorial perspective, seeking to systematize it on the scale of the Legal Amazon, taking the period between 1988 and 2020 as a temporal cut-off and relating it to the advancement of the capitalist exploitation project in the Amazon in the same period. An in-depth case study is the Maró Indigenous Land, located in Western Pará, highlighting the autonomic phenomenon at local level. Finally, I will make a critical reflection on the potentialities and limitations of the current autonomic strategy, thus collaborating with the theoretical effort of other fields of knowledge currently involved in this issue, such as Anthropology, History and Political Science. (AU)

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