The wild inside out

Fluid infrastructure in an Amazonian mining region

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
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Nestled in the hinterlands of Amazonia, informal gold mining continues largely unnoticed. The ‘wild’ landscapes that prospectors must negotiate in order to reach and work in these far‐flung mine sites consist of unruly forests, raging waterfalls and unpredictable waterways, locales that restrict and confound formal infrastructural development. In such terrains, prospectors must devise innovative ‘fluid infrastructures’ that allow the mine's continued existence against all odds. Local perceptions of the wilderness in these locales offer insights into remoteness not as regions untouched and inaccessible, but as intimately connected to the diffuse and manifold forms that global economies take. These are zones in which the wild is in fact turned inside out.

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