‘Living in Napo’: a brief political economy of extraction and colonisation in the Ecuadorian Amazon

This is a presentation of Chapter 3, ‘Living in Napo’, of my PhD thesis (The Protection of Traditional Knowledge in the Ecuadorian Amazon: A Critical Ethnography of Capital Expansion, 2010), which is a brief political economy of extraction and colonisation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It contextualises my fieldwork (2005-2008) in the Napo region, as well as the key focus of my research in that period, a participatory bioprospecting project. “Antes los gringos decían … …

Awakkuna: Knitting for conservation in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Title: Awakkuna: Knitting for conservation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Abstract: Crafting certain essentials of everyday and celebratory life (baskets, clay pots, carrying and fishing nets, tools, jewellery and ornamentation) has been—and in certain cases still is—a fundamental aspect of Napo Runa (Amazonian Kichwa of the Upper Napo River, Ecuador) subsistence and conviviality. Making ‘artesanias’ for sale has, for many families, become a key aspect in a bundle of livelihood strategies which confirms cultural … …

‘More-than-sustainable’ cultural forests of Amazonian pasts

Title: ‘More-than-sustainable’ cultural forests of Amazonian pasts: The other side of the anthropocene and the future human habitat. Abstract: The anthropocene, despite contested meanings and definitions, tends to imply a ‘negative impact human social metabolism’. On the basis of a nascent action research project on ancestral chakras (traditional forest garden systems) in the Ecuadorian Amazon with Napo Runa (lowland Kichwa) communities, I explore ‘the other side of the anthropocene’ in the praxis of … …

Biosocialism for the Amazon? Ikiam, the state and subsistence struggles in postneoliberal Ecuador

Title: Biosocialism for the Amazon? Ikiam, the state and subsistence struggles in postneoliberal Ecuador Abstract: As the largest connected system of rainforests on Earth, the role of the Amazon in stabilising global ecological processes and mitigating climate chaos is widely seen as critical and its protection has taken on new urgency. Yielding crucial commodities, the Amazon region also represents, however, important state income. Governing the region efficiently and effectively is thus paramount to … …

Kichwa community leader on pandemic

This is a low resolution video, recorded and sent by phone from the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, by Patricio Andi, who is a community leader. It does not have very good audio, but that should not detract from the otherwise clear and important message. It is provided for general interest and as part of a collection of reference material for an article in The Conversation titled ‘How indigenous people in … …

Kichwa midwife on corona pandemic

Below you find four low resolution videos – recorded on and sent by phone – in which Ofelia Salazar, Presidenta of AMUPAKIN, talks about the pandemic from her perspective, living in a road-accessible community of the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. She speaks in Spanish. In time we will create subtitles for these videos and also provide transcripts. It is provided for general interest and as part of a collection of … …