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CCDGB | Gabriela Valdivia, "Amazonian self-determination and radical solidarity in times of 'extractive research'"


Gabriela Valdivia, UNC Chapel Hill

Please join the Climate Change, Decolonization, and Global Blackness Lab (CCDGB) at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute for our 2023-24 speaker series. CCDGB is part of The Entanglement Project, an FHI initiative focused on the intersections of race, health, and climate.

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ABSTRACT: Stories and images of harm against Indigenous peoples raise consciousness of the enduring wounds caused by capitalism and resource extraction in the Americas. This talk is an invitation to both reflect on the axiology of stories favored in progressive accounts of resource extraction in Latin America, and to commit to storytelling that affirms healing work under existing conditions of extraction. I argue for the need to hold space for companion narratives of "yes, and" that emphasize the liveliness of self-determination and for the diverse forms of political consciousness that are present under conditions of resource extraction. I draw on plural feminisms from the Americas and from examples of my collaborative research in the Ecuadorian Amazon to make room for stories that center dignity and Indigenous self-determination. This is not a denial of the atrocities lived or their afterlives, but a call for remaining attentive to and holding space for concurrent projects for reparations and healing of bodies, land, and territory.

BIO: Gabriela Valdivia is William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of Geography and Environment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies the political ecology of natural resource governance in Latin America and (in a second and related line of research) the ethics, reflexive epistemology, and participatory methods in environmental research. Her digital projects include Crude Entanglements, a digital storytelling project that draws on feminist political ecology to examine the affective dimensions of oil production in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, and Napo Runa Cartographies, a collaborative digital project to Indigenize Planning in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She is also co-author of the book Oil, Revolution, and Indigenous Citizenship in Ecuadorian Amazonia (2017); The Routledge Handbook of Critical Resource Geography (2022), and Encuentros Intermitentes conlos Pueblos Indigenas en Aislamiento Voluntario [Intermittent Encounters with Peoples in Voluntary Isolation] (2023).


Climate, Global, Lecture/Talk