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A tale of three cities: power relations amidst Ese Eja urban imaginaries

Peluso, Daniela M. (2023) A tale of three cities: power relations amidst Ese Eja urban imaginaries. In: Santos-Granero, Fernando and Fabiano, Emanuele, eds. Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, pp. 95-120. ISBN 978-0-8165-4967-2. E-ISBN 978-0-8165-4968-9. (KAR id:95658)


In recent work, Miguel Alexiades and I (Alexiades & Peluso 2015, 2016; Peluso 2015a; Peluso & Alexiades 2005) have examined indigenous urbanization in Amazonia as sets of multi-directional processes that are “often highly contingent and situational not as a simple or permanent migration to a city, but rather as part of an ongoing circulation of people that connects different communities, towns and multiple-sited dwellings” (Alexiades & Peluso 2015: 7). Urbanization is often opportunistic and inspired by an ever-increasing range of drivers, the most common being labor opportunities, schooling, political work, and escaping village conflicts. I have described how urban areas become villages and how villages become urban, but most importantly how these processes ultimately begin in people’s minds long before they physically take place, and hence the idea that “urbanization begins at home” (Peluso 2004: 1; see also Peluso & Alexiades 2005). The political stake in such analyses has been to denounce forms of representation, outreach and development that trap indigenous Lowland South American peoples into strictly rural images that uphold unsustainable stereotypes that are then turned against them. For instance, encroaching extractive economies leverage images of urbanity to legitimize their expansion of activities to indigenous lands and processes of deterritotrialization (McSweeney & Jokisch 2015; Peluso, forthcoming). Here, I expand on this body of work by discussing a non-visible place as a tacit meeting point between cross-realities and different kinds of urbanity: cities of human, non-humans, living and non-living others –with the caveat that humanity is a shared sense of being and that living continues beyond what we might refer to as “life”.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Indigenous urbanisation, Amazonia, Lowland South America, Latin America, urbanity, non-human others, invisible cities, the dead, history
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Daniela Peluso
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2022 10:02 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 14:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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