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Competing indigeneities: Being a (hyper)real ecowarrior in twenty-first-century Bolivia

Canessa, A (2017) 'Competing indigeneities: Being a (hyper)real ecowarrior in twenty-first-century Bolivia.' In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Global Entangled Inequalities: Conceptual Debates and Evidence from Latin America. UNSPECIFIED, 128 - 143. ISBN 9781138740600

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When John Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar, came out in Bolivia, the president, Evo Morales, immediately declared it one of his favorite films. Even though the film was set on a distant planet, the Na’vi, despite their blue skin colour, pointed ears, and long tails, could immediately be identified by global audiences as indigenous: they had a holistic view of nature and culture, they used bows and arrows, they led simple but happy lives, and they were opposed to a ruthless corporation attempting to plunder their natural resources. It is difficult not to sympathize with the Na’vi in this tale as, indeed, it is difficult not to sympathize with the many groups around the world who are being dispossessed of their lands because they stand in the way of ‘development.’ Although the issue of who is indigenous is a thorny one, if one were to transpose the Na’vi to the Amazon, few people would have any doubt the people attacking tractors with bows and arrows to save their lands could be anything other than indigenous. It is easy, too, to see why an indigenous president would champion a film that empowers indigenous people in the face of big, foreign corporations.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 09:16
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 00:15

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