Corrientes, colonialismos y contradicciones: Repensando las raíces y trayectorias de la ecología política

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This essay is an adaptation of a keynote address presented at the Latin American Congress of Political Ecology, which took place in Santiago, Chile in October, 2014. It is a reflection and self-critique of political ecology as an academic field. In it I examine the intellectual history of political ecology in the context of the colonial academic traditions stemming from the global North. The presence and influence of northern intellectuals in countries of the global South are part of the colonial/imperialist projects of wealthy northern countries. This is an unavoidable reality, even for intellectuals on the political Left. I consider political ecology to be an 'aporia,' that is, an unavoidable logical paradox. In spite of its colonial history, I argue that we should not discard political ecology, but rather use it to overcome its own inherent contradictions. We need an anti-colonial, trans-hemispheric political ecology and must do the hard work of translation, both linguistic and cultural. We should not break ties between north and south, but rather form new and distinct ties, based on the Gramscian concept of 'praxis': practice informed by theory and critique.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalEstudios Atacamenos
Issue number51
StatePublished - 2015


  • Colonialism
  • Geographic thought
  • Postcolonialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology

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