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Cova, V. The Road to Taisha: Indigenous Protests for Road Infrastructure in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Ontological Turn. Sociologus, 71(1), 13-32.
Cova, Victor "The Road to Taisha: Indigenous Protests for Road Infrastructure in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Ontological Turn" Sociologus 71.1, , 13-32.
Cova, Victor: The Road to Taisha: Indigenous Protests for Road Infrastructure in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Ontological Turn, in: Sociologus, vol. 71, iss. 1, 13-32, [online]


The Road to Taisha: Indigenous Protests for Road Infrastructure in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Ontological Turn

Cova, Victor

Sociologus, Vol. 71 (2021), Iss. 1 : pp. 13–32

3 Citations (CrossRef)

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Author Details

Victor Cova, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 11, 8000 Aarhus C.

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This contribution examines protests by Shuar people in the Ecuadorian Amazon during the summer of 2015 in favour of the construction of a road through their territory. Can the ontological turn help us understand such events? Debates around the ontological turn have hinged around its potential contribution to the analysis of environmental challenges and political conflicts. In this article, I argue that central concepts from the ontological turn – such as animism (Descola 2005) or perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro 2004) – may add nuance but not substance to anthropological understandings of environmental conflicts. I focus on the stakes of these conflicts, the construction of alliances, and the tactics used by the different stakeholders. Taking to heart one of the core premises of the ontological turn, we may think that Western concepts of “nature” and “culture” may hinder our understanding of indigenous Amazonian people’s participation in these conflicts. I argue on the contrary that efforts to overcome these concepts may precisely risk concealing or distorting the actions and statements of indigenous people involved in the conflict.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Victor Cova: The Road to Taisha: Indigenous Protests for Road Infrastructure in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Ontological Turn 1
Abstract 1
1. Introduction 1
2. The Ontological Turn and Shuar Perceptions of Environmental Conflicts 5
3. Alliances beyond Nature and Culture? 7
4. Protest Tactics beyond Nature and Culture 1
5. Discussion: Limits of Ontology 1
References 1