Spring term 2011
28. 01. Round-table Discussion on ESF-COST: European Frames of Indigineity
11.02. Jennifer Hays, UiT: Anthropology and the Evaluation of Norwegian Development Assistance: A report from Namibia
25.02. Trine Eide, UiT: Paths to Peace. Civic nationalism, transitional justice and agricultural reform in Rwanda (foreløpig tittel)
11.03. Sidsel Saugestad, UiT: Comparative Perspectives on the State Codification of Indigineity
01.04. Jon Schakt, UiT: Etniske og kulturelle identiteter.
15.04. John Andrew McNeish, NTNU: Contested Powers: Indigenous Peoples and their Rights to Resources in Bolivia and Latin America
When Evo Morales Ayma entered the Presidential Palace (known as the Burnt Palace because of its role as the focus of earlier protest and confrontations) in 2005, the indigenous majority of the Bolivian population celebrated the moment as marking the end of over 500 years of discrimination. Five years on, a new constitution and a radical regime of social policy exists formalizing the expansion of political and social rights. Despite these changes many indigenous communities in the country argue that they have been let down by the government. Doubts are now increasingly being raised in media coverage, academic writing and by a wide range of national political actors about the true revolutionary credentials of the MAS administration. Indeed, common characterization is now made of “Avatar”-like conditions where indigenous peoples and environmentalists are again seen confronting the state, to secure not only rights to land and territory, but to a sustainable way of life.
While it is correct to highlight the seriousness of these confrontations and the glaring failures of the current administration, I question in this paper whether the images of indigenous resistance described in recent writing are not oversimplified. This paper demonstrates that current confrontations in Bolivia are more complex than current essentialized green and pristine images of indigeneity allow. Current confrontations are seen here not only to be involving a larger spectrum of interests than previously recognized, but as demonstrating internal conflicts between indigenous peoples themselves.
This paper highlights the manner in which Bolivian historical development and the particularities of multiple indigenous ideas of law, sovereignty, peace, prosperity and modernity require us to recognize the necessary ambiguity of indigeneity, and the existence of a complex matrix of contrasting, overlapping and at times conflicting demands. Indeed, the paper questions whether what is seen being played out in recent confrontations is not only the persisting failure of government, but a dynamic, and in part necessary, process in which conflicting norms and values related to the use of the environment continue to be worked through. As in the past, the “burnt palace” remains then a real space, and metaphor, capturing a confrontation between competing senses of development and nature.
20.05. Lisbet Holtedahl, UiT: The Muslm Industrialist Al Hajji Mohammadou Ousmanou Abb
Fall term 2011
16.09. Elisabeth Scheller, UiT: Kola Sami language revitalization – opportunities and challenges
30.09. Tommy Ose, UiB: Food waste
07.10. Petia Mankova, UiT: Traditional knowledge and unified standards: the professional school for reindeer herders in Lovosero, Northwest Russia
04.11. Bjorn Enge Bertelsen, UiB: “Frelimo, you are selling at very high prices”. The Mozambican urban riots of 2008 and 2010 and its relation to sovereign territory and urban poverty
9-11. 11. Beyond Boundaries: Exploring Concepts of Liminality and Alterity International Symposium and PhD Course
25. 11. Christine Smith-Simonsen, UiT: Articulations of indigeneity in the context of ethnic federalism (Ethiopia)