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Central America beyond post-conflict: making and unmaking contemporaneity 
Paolo Grassi (University of Milano Bicocca)
Andrea Freddi (Universidad de los Lagos, Chile)
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Tatiana Paz Lemus (Universidad Maya Kaqchikel Vanderbilt University)
Malte Gembus (Coventry University)
Thursday 18 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Central America is witnessing a period of epochal crisis that marks an overcoming of the historical phase defined as the "post-conflict era”. It is important for anthropology to realize in time the nature of these transformations and to be able to show its internal dynamics.

Long Abstract:

With their collective volume "Harvest of violence" (1988), a group of North American anthropologists working in Guatemala sought to make amends with respect to their lack of interest in the civil war then underway. The disappearances and deaths of their indigenous informants had forced them to turn their attention away from the classic themes of Mayan culture to show the effects of genocidal state violence in the context of the Cold War. In present-day Central America, in countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, we have witnessed authoritarian turns carried out through persecution of the press and opposition, co-optation of the justice system, arbitrary detention, and human rights violations. All this brings an end to the “post-conflict era” in Central America. Just as happened in the 1980s, it is important for anthropology to become aware in time of the epochal nature of these transformations and, through its presence in the field, to be able to show us its internal dynamics, highlighting local perceptions and dismantling stereotypical interpretations. We also believe that the Central American reality is paradigmatic of the current crisis condition and succeeds in highlighting the processes of making and unmaking of neoliberal policies, conflicts over environmental resources, dynamics of urbanization, financialization of daily life, and the authoritarian turns gone through by many governments in the global South and North. We therefore propose an "exploratory" panel, which can bring together contributions to analyse some of the dynamics described, or their intersection, from an ethnographic perspective.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -