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The politics of Ese Eja indigenous urbanite images in distinct nation states: the Bolivian and Peruvian Amazon

Peluso, Daniela M. (2023) The politics of Ese Eja indigenous urbanite images in distinct nation states: the Bolivian and Peruvian Amazon. In: Brablec, Dana and Canessa, Andrew, eds. Urban Indigeneities: Being Indigenous in the Twenty-first Century. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, pp. 163-182. (KAR id:95659)


This chapter will focus on the socio-political stakes entailed in forms of representation, outreach and development that purposely trap indigenous Lowland South American peoples in Bolivia and Peru into “urban” images that are by default viewed as being “anti-traditional” and how such images may vary across borders due to historical and contemporary regional and national politics and differences. I argue that images that portray indigenous peoples as urbanites – an important and necessary form of representation – simultaneously carry the threat of being commandeered by those with vested interests in weakening indigenous solidarity and rights. In such cases, private or government interests and also NGOs can seize urban aspects of indigenous rural and urban interfaces and circulations in order to portray indigenous individuals and groups as being fully detached from their lands, divorced from the ongoing practices and transformations of their traditions and disconnected from claims to Amazonian livelihoods. Here, I emphasise the way that nations states and indigenous activities shape each other by discussing two distinct metropolises in Peru and Bolivia. Throughout, I will focus on such instances where urban indigenous peoples are vulnerable to a range of socio-political tools and economic inequalities and the awareness that in today’s indigenous politics representatives are increasingly accountable for how they present their indigeneity, not only to the international community but locally and among themselves.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Indigenous urbanisation, leadership, Lowland South America, Amazonia, Urbanites, nation-state, Indigenous People, economic inequality, Bolivia, Peru, borders
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
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Daniela Peluso
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2022 10:19 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 11:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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