Accepted paper:

The revolutionary state, its opponents and the dilemmas of indigenous identities: dominant discourses and their consequences in Venezuela

Author:

Ernst Halbmayer (Phillips University Marburg)

Paper short abstract:

This paper interprets the current contradictions and dilemmas of indigenous politics within the dominant Venezuelan discourse. Based on recent field research in Zulia the paper asks how this discourse expands and limits political opportunities for indigenous peoples, especially the Yukpa. It outlines strategic reactions and their consequences for Yukpa identity.

Paper long abstract:

This paper interprets the current contradictions and dilemmas of indigenous politics and struggles for indigenous rights within the dominant national Venezuelan discourse which either promotes and defends or criticizes and opposes the state-led Bolivarian revolution. This discourse reproduces itself in different forms and in reference to different levels (international, national and regional). The paper will identify central cultural semantics underlying it and specify the different roles of the indigenous population within them. Based on recent field research in the federal state of Zulia at the border to Colombia the paper will 1) ask how this discourse and the resulting practices influence (expand and limit) the political opportunities for indigenous peoples 2) identify the most important strategies applied by the indigenous Yukpa to deal with that situation and 3) outline their consequences for Yukpa identity.

panel W035
Indigenous, autochthonous and national identities? Strategic representations, political struggles and epistemological issues (atelier bilingue - anglais et français)