Call for papers: ‘Indigenous and Afrodescendant Movements and Organisations in Latin America. Resisting, Performing and Re-purposing Dominant Categories’


Alternautas, an academic peer-reviewed blog, is calling for contributions for a special issue (Call for Papers) on ‘Indigenous and Afrodescendant Movements and Organisations in Latin America. Resisting, Performing and Re-purposing Dominant Categories’

From the 1990s, the so-called Latin American multicultural turn has given rise to changes and amendments in national constitutions concerned with inclusion of indigenous communities and afrodescendant populations in political and social processes (Cottrol and Hernandez, 2001). However, the actions of Indigenous peoples’ and Afrodescendant social movements/organizations in Latin America are embedded within a set of disciplinary and regulatory technologies shaped by international organizations, Nation states, market and globalisation processes. For example, political commitment to Indigenous and afrodescendant movements is limited by neoliberal development agendas with “multiple scaled transnational practices and discourses” (Radcliffe 2002, Hale 2005). In other cases, so-called postneoliberal states such as Bolivia and Ecuador prioritized developmental agendas linked to an ideal of a homogenising nation state (Postero 2017). As a result, these movements are often forced to translate themselves and their different and complex ontological understandings of the world in order to counterbalance the hegemonic, colonial, and patriarchal capitalist spaces that increasingly dominate their communities.

These limitations suggest a lack of major actions transforming the political participation context under which these movements act (Muteba, 2012), reproducing the difficulties of developing a vision of the political space that goes beyond interpretation and representation (Lefebvre, 1991). Mastering other languages, categories, and codes can sometimes lead to effective resistance and successful outcomes, but they can also lead to the expansion and reproduction of colonizing structures. Refusing them through disruption and silence can sometimes promote the reproduction and continual reinvention of worlds, but it can also lead to their marginalization and diminish the chances of democratic participation. We welcome papers that ask: how these challenges are being confronted by Latin American indigenous and afro-descendent movements?; how are indigenous identities fixed and mobilized by international organizations, states and the market, and performed or resisted by indigenous and afro-descendant communities in order to further their interests and contest or challenge different ontological views?; how are these fixed identities expressions of state racism?; how indigenous and afro-descendent movements react to an increasing racist violence coming from the state in the region?; how are these movements intersected by multiple oppressions (such as class and gender) beyond ethnicity and race?; and how do academics working with these groups deal with challenges of interpretation, translation and communication of the ideas and realities that they encounter in their continual interaction with these communities?

Articles can address (but not be limited to) any of the following issues:

·         Historical approaches of indigenous peoples and afrodescendant socio-political interplay in Latin America;

·         Intersectorial power relations between state institutions, International Organizations, market forces and indigenous peoples and afrodescendant social movements;

·         Indigenous peoples and afro-descendant movements’ intersectional practices and realities;

·         Cultural translation processes in environmental, political, commercial and social issues;

·         Boundaries, narratives and discourses on transnational interactions of indigenous peoples and afrodescendant social movements;

·         Political power structures and indigenous peoples and afrodescendant social movements policy frameworks;

·         Market dynamics, participation and productive economic alternatives;

·         Education, ethnicity and knowledge building;

·         Aesthetics of representation from indigenous peoples and afrodescendant social movements.

The call is open to contributions from different disciplinary approaches, from sociology, anthropology, and political geography to architecture, law, history, economics or political science. They are expected to be of a length between 3,500-4,000 words and should include two (or more) pictures of your choice, eligible for unlimited reproduction. Please send your contributions before November 20th 2019.



Deadline to submit papers: November 20th

Peer review process: November 20th – December 20th

Author revisions: December 20th – January 20th

Publication: First Semester 2020



Cottrol, Robert J. y Tanya Kateri Hernandez (2001): “The role of law and legal institutions in combating social exclusion in Latin American countries: Afro-American populations”. Conference read at the Inter-American Development Bank Conference Towards a Shared Vision of Development: High-Level Dialogue on Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean, June 18, 2001, in Washington, D.C.


Hale, C. 2005. Neoliberal Multiculturalism. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 28(1), 10-19.

Lefebvre, Henri (1991) [1974]: The production of space. Oxford: Blackwell.

Muteba Rahier, Jean (2012): Black social movements in Latin America. From monocultural mestizaje to multiculturalism. New York: Palgrave.

Postero, Nancy (2017). The Indigenous State. Race, Politics and Performance in Plurinational Bolivia. Oakland: University of California Press.

Radcliffe, Sarah; Laurie, Nina; Andolina, Robert (2002): “Indigenous people and political transnationalism: globalization from below meets globalization from above?” WPTC-02-05 Project “Transnational Indigenous Communities in Ecuador and Bolivia”