Imagining a Highway: Global Connections in an Indigenous Conflict
Jonghe, A. de
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In Bolivia, the inhabitants of the Territoria Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS) have sparked revolt against the Morales government over a highway cutting through their indigenous territory. This thesis explains what the conflict is about and which stories and imaginaries are connected to it. TIPNIS is not only a park where a group of indigenous people is figthing for autonomy over their territory against a government that claims to be indigenous. The highway has enlarged the possible meanings that can be attached to the TIPNIS. The thesis reaveals the awkward connections made and unmade in the struggle over the highway. It proposes an analytical framework that moves beyond the debate on indigenous claims by using the concepts of frontier, universals, politics of appearances and collaborations. Additionally, the thesis concludes with an epilogue reflecting on the question: what is my position as an anthropologist in the field?, drawing on thorough reflection methods used during fieldwork.