Territories and identities in dispute. Poetics and Politics from the South

The Southern Cone and Brazil regional headquarters of the Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS), located in Buenos Aires, invites to participate with papers and collective debate in the Platform for Dialogue "Territories and identities in dispute. Poetics and politics from the South".

Territory is a spatio-temporal totality that is not simply given, but is constructed. It is a dynamic instance that has a physical existence in certain coordinates of time and place; a relational existence, ubiquitous, polysemic and at different scales due to the link with contiguous or discontiguous territories; a social existence as a social construction through space-time product of conflicts of interests between social agents with different logics of reproduction; and an emotional existence linked to the identity and affective reproduction of each society.

The social and human sciences have traditionally tended to ignore the role played by ethnic, political, gender, class and affective identities in socio-territorial processes. This began to change in the last decades of the twentieth century thanks to the indigenous, feminist, LGTBQ+ and social movements in general, which began to ask new questions, to make visible how these identities are reproduced in the territory that contains and constitutes them, and to rebel against this reproduction based on hegemonic categories and which is highly unjust.

When we look at space by focusing on power relations, we are seeing and identifying a territory. More simply, territory would be a dimension of space when the focus is on power relations. Despite its ubiquitous nature, its polysemic use and the hybridity of its conceptual construction, territory is a specific Latin American term, which can contribute to the analysis of power relations in space, activated by the confrontation between global forces, on the one hand, and groups with "territorial anchorage", on the other.

This Platform for Dialogue proposes to reflect on the space/territory categories and their implementation, on the idea of power constructed by the different actors from the territory today through various forms of opposition and resistance. Access to land, health, housing, food, use of public space, as well as environmental and social struggles, are some of the examples of the complex and contradictory inequalities that characterize different territories throughout Latin America. Especially the incursion - in the name of "development" - of extractive ventures with respect to natural goods in previously "marginal" territories (or marginalized by the logics of production and reproduction of capital) has triggered a series of claims by local populations to give rise to other ways of producing territories, alternative models of development and different ways of relating to nature. Disputes over territory, over the different possible development models and over the different ways of valuing nature have become key issues in the Latin American political and academic debate of the last decades of the 20th century. In the case of indigenous communities, in recent years the struggles for territorial recuperation and for the right to territorial possession have deepened. These were accompanied by demands for the recovery of language and cultural traditions, as a fundamental support to the indigenous identity and territorial struggle.

Resignifying and rethinking the practices of researchers and activists from theoretical-methodological and practical approaches and considering the contributions of diverse knowledge from different territories enriches the analysis and provides a more complex view of the processes and people involved in the construction of the territory at various local and regional scales. From the perspective of horizontal knowledge production, we are interested in problematizing the construction of the territory and reflecting on the different community, organizational and educational experiences in Latin America from different territorial instances.

How is territory thought from the experiences of collective organization? How is territory thought and claimed from the experiences of indigenous communities? How are identities (re)constructed in the territory from the experiences of community organization? Who participates in the construction of territory? How are appropriation senses disputed? What are the demarcation criteria of territories in change? How do aesthetic manifestations reveal and develop new territory-producing dynamics?

Based on these questions, we propose to reflect on how the idea and implementation of territory is constructed in Latin America.


Bases of the event and the application:

The Platform will have a Workshop format with collective debate sessions where participants and guests are expected to present and discuss their own work.

Venue: Southern Cone and Brazil Regional Headquarters of the Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS) at the National University of San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Date: October 27-28, 2022

Scientific coordinators: Prof. Dr. Luciana Anapios (UNSAM) and Prof. Dr. Claudia Hammerschmidt (FSU Jena).

Target audience: The call is addressed to students, graduates, researchers, activists, artists, and civil society referents involved with these issues, who work from diverse disciplines and traditions of thought in social sciences and humanities, and who can contribute solid theoretical and empirical reflections on the theme of the platform.

Languages: Spanish (preferred), Portuguese, English.

Submission of proposals: Complete the application form with the title and summary of the proposal (between 300 and 400 words) and a brief description of the professional career, publications and/or relevant activities in the field.

Deadline for submitting proposals: June 13, 2022.

Funding: If selected, CALAS has funds to reimburse travel expenses and pay for accommodation during the days of the event in Buenos Aires.

Announcement of selected proposals: end of June 2022.


Contact/More information:

Southern Cone and Brazil regional headquarters of the Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS),

Administrative coordination: Sofia Espul: C.E.:

Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina