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Ambivalent cartographies: exploring the legacies of indigenous land titling through participatory mapping

Anthias, P.

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Abstract

This paper reflects on the possibilities and limits of participatory mapping as a tool for interrogating the power–knowledge inequalities that structure indigenous peoples’ engagements with postcolonial state cartography and bureaucracy. I describe mapping activities conducted in a remote Guaraní community in the Bolivian Chaco as part of a research project exploring the dynamics and legacies of Native Community Lands, a national indigenous land titling programme. While these exercises were designed to explore the disjunctures between state and indigenous knowledges of territory, they generated unexpected power dynamics that led me to reflect more deeply on the power of maps, the pitfalls of ‘countermapping’ as an activist practice and my own imbrication in a bureaucratic field of power. The paper concludes that participatory mapping can be a fruitful if ambivalent method for studying state bureaucracy, which demonstrates the value of examining the legal-cartographic knowledges of the state ‘from the margins’ – including from the perspective of the people and places they claim to represent.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2019
Publication Date Jun 1, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 3, 2019
Journal Critique of Anthropology
Print ISSN 0308-275X
Electronic ISSN 1460-3721
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 2
Pages 222-242
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0308275x19842920
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1298641

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Copyright Statement
Anthias, P. (2019). Ambivalent cartographies: exploring the legacies of indigenous land titling through participatory mapping. Critique of Anthropology 39(2): 222-242. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). DOI: 10.1177/0308275X19842920






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