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Lazy Labor, Modernization, and Coloniality

Mobile Cultures between the Andes and the Amazon around 1900

Jaime Moreno Tejada

were quickly becoming a footnote to the tales of journeys that were ever more common and ever more predictable. There were no bandits on the main route between Quito and the eastern lowlands of the Amazon basin. This fact alone gives an indication of

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The Amazon's "10W40"

Ill-Fated Beneficiaries of Texaco's "Glorious Gamble"

Marilyn J. Matelski

Almost fifty years have passed since Texaco proclaimed its “glorious gamble” to extract oil from the Amazon. And while more than two decades have elapsed since the drilling finally ceased, at least four generations (referred to here as “Generations 10W40,” by the author) have suffered many deleterious effects, resulting from countless acts of irresponsible, pollution-generating corporate/governmental behavior. Lawsuits have abounded in both the United States and Ecuador over this calamity, and attorneys continue to fight over which accused party is most culpable—Texaco (now Chevron Texaco), Petro Ecuador and/or the Ecuadorian government. Regardless of who is most responsible, however, the fact remains that innocent people continue to be victimized. Another undeniable fact is the long history of Chevron Texaco’s expensive, forceful and unrelenting publicity campaign to win popular support outside the courtroom through propagandistic mass media appeals. This essay analyzes this long-term “crusade” within a framework of seven specific devices—name-calling, bandwagon, glittering generalities, transfer, testimonial, plain folks and card stacking—applied to the company’s corporate communication strategy, and occurring throughout its preliminary oil exploration, the oil drilling years and the toxic aftermath of the venture.

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Ariela Zycherman

highest absolute rates of deforestation in the world. Furthermore, a spike in deforestation, beginning in 2013 in two areas of the Amazon with heavy agricultural production Mato Grosso and Pará, has put into question the sustainability of maintaining

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The Angry Earth

Wellbeing, Place and Extractivism in the Amazon

Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti

collaborators in the Peruvian Amazon. This is a timely opposition due to the centrality of wellbeing in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals — its post- 2015 Development Agenda (see Haddad and Jolly 2013 ). My engagement with kametsa asaiki is

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Raw Data

Making Relations Matter

Antonia Walford

Drawing on an ethnographic study of the everyday scientific practices pertaining to the production of observational environmental data in the Brazilian Amazon, this article demonstrates some of the different sorts of relationality that are

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Mapping Solidarity

How Public Anthropology Provides Guidelines for Advocacy Networks

Raúl Acosta

Current transnational networks of non-governmental organizations and social movements have challenged nation-states' policy designs. Their increasing political legitimacy, however, is matched by cultural friction and misunderstandings among their members and stakeholders. This paper argues that anthropological insights may provide maps that can help shape advocacy networks' guidelines for action. Just as social analysts of past centuries provided the language and imagined forms of social organization from systematic examinations of events, anthropologists can help explain current relations and processes within fluid structures in order to improve their practices and results. This idea is illustrated by the examination of a single socio-environmental advocacy network in the Brazilian Amazon: 'Y Ikatu Xingu. This network was chosen because it brings together stakeholders from contrasting backgrounds, thus highlighting its intercultural challenges. Some members of the convening NGOs were anthropologists, whose work is focused on helping bridge understandings of environment and coexistence. The network was therefore strongly influenced by anthropological insights.

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Eyewitness Accounts during the Putumayo Rubber Boom

Manuel Antonio Mesones Muro—the Madman of the Marañon River, Cárlos Oyague y Calderón—the State Engineer, and Roger Casement—Not of the Real World Humanitarian

Rupert J. M. Medd and Hélène Guyot

Between 1870 and 1915 Peru experienced a rubber-boom, extending into the Putumayo River region in 1893. This huge region of Amazonian forests was controlled by the Peruvian Amazon Company (P. A. Co.). Although Peruvian, they had British company directors and a British-Barbadian workforce. Their methods of extraction generated unimaginable degrees of human and ecological violence. Roger Casement, a British diplomat, was sent on a harrowing mission to investigate these allegations made by travelers. His Amazon Journal takes precedence; however, Peruvians also responded to the situation, reporting to the Geographical Society of Lima. Included are two forgotten yet influential Peruvian explorers: the geographer Manuel Antonio Mesones Muro and the engineer Cárlos Oyague y Calderón. By highlighting some of the early debates that circulated between Europe and Latin America on the natural resources and people of the Amazon forests, the focus is to draw out textual examples of perceptions on race, environment, and early consumer responsibility. Supported by coloniality/modernity theories, it also asks whether this form of travel writing was functioning as a resistance literature to imperialism for the time. Thus, this study investigates alternative readings that might also inform twenty-first-century scholars and activists as they articulate environmentalist and even social and ecological positions.

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Natural Resources by Numbers

The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations

Amelia Fiske

mil catchphrase to argue that today it was possible to have your proverbial environment and exploit it too. In the past half century, the environment has become an object of global concern ( Carson 2002 ; Leonard and Kedzior 2014 ), 1 and the Amazon

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Limits and Limitlessness

Exploring Time in Scientific Practice

Antonia Walford

This article explores some of the ways that time figures in the scientific practices of instrumental micrometeorology and climatic and weather modeling. It draws on ethnographic work done with the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), an international scientific project that aims to assess the role of the Amazon forest in the global carbon cycle and to provide sustainable techniques for the future management of the region. An examination of the knowledge practices that have emerged from this ethnography (such as calibration and prediction) provides an opportunity to rethink the relation between 'natural time' and 'social time(s)'. This allows for a discussion of the roles that certainty, uncertainty, finiteness, and limitlessness play in both scientific and ethnographic practice.

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Landscapes and Races in Early Twentieth-Century Peru

The Travels of José Uriel García and Aurelio Miró Quesada Sosa

Rupert J. M. Medd

loving character” (100–103). As Quesada Sosa flew over the montaña region toward Iquitos, his attention was held by the rivers below that majestically carved their courses through the Amazon forests. The language of love continued: “We see the Marañon