© 2019

Indigenous Life Projects and Extractivism

Ethnographies from South America

  • Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard
  • Juan Javier Rivera Andía


  • Addresses how the recent resource extraction boom in South America has collided with indigenous world-making projects

  • Covers an unusually broad geographical scope, with ethnographic research presented from a wide range of South American countries

  • Takes an interdisciplinary approach to a complex issue and will consequently hold value for scholars across a range of fields including anthropology, sociology, political science, geology, and economics

Open Access

Part of the Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference book series (ATSIAD)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Juan Javier Rivera Andía, Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard
    Pages 1-50 Open Access
  3. Flows, Wealth, and Access

  4. Extractivism, Land, Ownerships

  5. Indigeneity, Activism, and the Politics of Nature

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Fabiana Li, Adriana Paola Paredes Peñafiel
      Pages 219-243 Open Access
    3. Nicole Fabricant, Nancy Postero
      Pages 245-276 Open Access
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 277-282

About this book


Exploring indigenous life projects in encounters with extractivism, the present open access volume discusses how current turbulences actualise questions of indigeneity, difference and ontological dynamics in the Andes and Amazonia. While studies of extractivism in South America often focus on wider national and international politics, this contribution instead provides ethnographic explorations of indigenous politics, perspectives and worlds, revealing loss and suffering as well as creative strategies to mediate the extralocal. Seeking to avoid conceptual imperialism or the imposition of exogenous categories, the chapters are grounded in the respective authors’ long-standing field research. The authors examine the reactions (from resistance to accommodation), consequences (from anticipation to rubble) and materials (from fossil fuel to water) diversely related to extractivism in rural and urban settings. How can Amerindian strategies to preserve localised communities in extractivist contexts contribute to ways of thinking otherwise?


Indigenous extractivism South America extractive industries poverty-reduction marginalization inequality environmental damage ecological devastation mining energy extractive indigenous world-making indigenous life-making politics of nature commodification privatization latin america ethnology indigeneities open access

Editors and affiliations

  • Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard
    • 1
  • Juan Javier Rivera Andía
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

About the editors

Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Juan Javier Rivera Andía is Research Fellow at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Bibliographic information


“The volume … is one of the latest works within the growing body of literature on extractivism and indigeneity in the region. Clearly written and yet rich in always surprising ethnographic material, this volume is essential reading for scholars and students interested in both Amerindian anthropology and political ecology in general.” (Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 93 (2), 2020)