A story of layers of resistance played out in the Peruvian Amazon
(University of Manchester)
Paper short abstract:
I wish to examine the micro level politics or different layers of resistance with specific reference to how the local context in the Madre de Dios region of Peru is leading some indigenous leaders to consider negotiation with the petrol company to be part of that resistance.
Paper long abstract:
The story of indigenous peoples struggling for state recognition of ancestral lands and control of these lands against the backdrop of oil exploration demonstrates at a macro level resistance to a dominant system. This resistance is played out in very visible ways through marches, media campaigns and strategic alliances. I wish to further examine the situation in terms of the different layers of resistance, or the micro level politics which makes up this resistance (Ortner, 1995: 177, 179) and how the local context leads indigenous leaders to consider negotiation with the petrol company to be part of that resistance. In an attempt to "shift perspective" (Abu-Lughod, 1990), I will draw on my fieldwork carried out in the Madre de Dios region of Peru in order to highlight what these different "forms of resistance indicate about the forms of power that they are up against" (ibid: 47). I hope to show that resistance has to be understood as multi-layered in order to take into account the different actors, both indigenous and non-indigenous, involved in the various forms of domination in place. I will make specific reference to the role of indigenous leaders in articulating and responding to the demands of their communities. Ultimately, I attempt to understand how resistance can also involve accepting state-designated oil projects on their land.
Resistance and complicity