473 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk
The Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies Internal Speaker Series (CLALSIS) presents: "Fighting for land under Bolsonaro: territorial rights and Indigenous mobilization in contemporary Brazil" by Daniela Alarcon, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow on "Dispossesions in the Americas".
Since the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president, in 2018, and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the threats and violations against Indigenous peoples, quilombolas, peasants, and other groups have escalated to levels unseen since the last dictatorship in Brazil. In this grim scenario, however, the Indigenous movement has emerged as one of the strongest social movements in the country, embedded in a long history of resistance to settler-colonialism and genocide. Centering on the land struggle carried out by the Tupinambá of Serra do Padeiro, in Southern Bahia, Northeastern Brazil, this paper focuses on territorial rights and contemporary Indigenous mobilization. First, I will offer a short description and analysis of the territorial recovery process engendered by the Tupinambá from 2004 to 2019, pointing to some of its antecedents, dynamics, and effects. Then, I will examine the situation from 2019 to the present, focusing on five key episodes of conflict and interrogating the Tupinambá responses. Finally, I will briefly reflect on the perspectives which are being opened by new studies on Indigenous mobilizations in Brazil, especially those centered on territorial struggles.