Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands

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9780822344834: Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands

In Black and Green, Kiran Asher provides a powerful framework for reconceptualizing the relationship between neoliberal development and social movements. Moving beyond the notion that development is a hegemonic, homogenizing force that victimizes local communities, Asher argues that development processes and social movements shape each other in uneven and paradoxical ways. She bases her argument on ethnographic analysis of the black social movements that emerged from and interacted with political and economic changes in Colombia’s Pacific lowlands, or Chocó region, in the 1990s.

The Pacific region had yet to be overrun by drug traffickers, guerrillas, and paramilitary forces in the early 1990s. It was better known as the largest area of black culture in the country (90 percent of the region’s population is Afro-Colombian) and as a supplier of natural resources, including timber, gold, platinum, and silver. Colombia’s Law 70, passed in 1993, promised ethnic and cultural rights, collective land ownership, and socioeconomic development to Afro-Colombian communities. At the same time that various constituencies sought to interpret and implement Law 70, the state was moving ahead with large-scale development initiatives intended to modernize the economically backward coastal lowlands. Meanwhile national and international conservation organizations were attempting to protect the region’s rich biodiversity. Asher explores this juxtaposition of black rights, economic development, and conservation—and the tensions it catalyzed. She analyzes the meanings attached to “culture,” “nature,” and “development” by the Colombian state and Afro-Colombian social movements, including women’s groups. In so doing, she shows that the appropriation of development and conservation discourses by the social movements had a paradoxical effect. It legitimized the presence of state, development, and conservation agencies in the Pacific region even as it influenced those agencies’ visions and plans.

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From the Publisher:

"Kiran Asher effectively captures the nuances of the multiple positions taken by Afrocolombians and their allies regarding the development of the Pacific lowlands--ethno-cultural activists, mainstream politicians, black women's networks, nongovernmental organizations, and social scientists--producing an intricate and multifaceted vision of the heterogeneous interests at play in the creation of the black movement in Colombia. Asher's keen ethnographic eye explores the contradictions that emerge when local demands are translated into transnational discourses of identity, rights, environmentalism, and community development. She lays bare the complex texture of the negotiations that gave rise to legislation and planning, on the one hand, and of the voicing of local hopes and aspirations--particularly of Afrocolombian women--on the other. She moves with ease between the halls of the Colombian Senate and the workshop of a women's cooperative, revealing the numerous levels at which Afrocolombian environmental discourse emerges. In the process, Asher crafts a sensitive and sympathetic, yet also sharp-edged and daring portrait of a significant social movement that is coming to the fore across Latin America."--Joanne Rappaport, author of Intercultural Utopias: Public Intellectuals, Cultural Experimentation, and Ethnic Pluralism in Colombia

"Kiran Asher provides the best exploration we have of Afro-Colombians' experiences in the wake of an unprecedented 1991 constitutional clause recognizing collective land rights for black communities. Across the disciplines, students of racial politics and environmental organizing will benefit from her thoughtful analysis and the clarity of her approach."--Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, author of Dulcinea in the Factory: Myths, Morals, Men, and Women in Colombia's Industrial Experiment, 1905-1960

From the Back Cover:

"Kiran Asher provides the best exploration we have of Afro-Colombians' experiences in the wake of an unprecedented 1991 constitutional clause recognizing collective land rights for black communities. Across the disciplines, students of racial politics and environmental organizing will benefit from her thoughtful analysis and the clarity of her approach."--Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, author of "Dulcinea in the Factory: Myths, Morals, Men, and Women in Colombia's Industrial Experiment, 1905-1960"

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Black and Green, Kiran Asher provides a powerful framework for reconceptualizing the relationship between neoliberal development and social movements. Moving beyond the notion that development is a hegemonic, homogenizing force that victimizes local communities, Asher argues that development processes and social movements shape each other in uneven and paradoxical ways. She bases her argument on ethnographic analysis of the black social movements that emerged from and interacted with political and economic changes in Colombia s Pacific lowlands, or Choco region, in the 1990s. The Pacific region had yet to be overrun by drug traffickers, guerrillas, and paramilitary forces in the early 1990s. It was better known as the largest area of black culture in the country (90 percent of the region s population is Afro-Colombian) and as a supplier of natural resources, including timber, gold, platinum, and silver. Colombia s Law 70, passed in 1993, promised ethnic and cultural rights, collective land ownership, and socioeconomic development to Afro-Colombian communities. At the same time that various constituencies sought to interpret and implement Law 70, the state was moving ahead with large-scale development initiatives intended to modernize the economically backward coastal lowlands. Meanwhile national and international conservation organizations were attempting to protect the region s rich biodiversity. Asher explores this juxtaposition of black rights, economic development, and conservation-and the tensions it catalyzed. She analyzes the meanings attached to culture, nature, and development by the Colombian state and Afro-Colombian social movements, including women s groups. In so doing, she shows that the appropriation of development and conservation discourses by the social movements had a paradoxical effect. It legitimized the presence of state, development, and conservation agencies in the Pacific region even as it influenced those agencies visions and plans. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780822344834

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Black and Green, Kiran Asher provides a powerful framework for reconceptualizing the relationship between neoliberal development and social movements. Moving beyond the notion that development is a hegemonic, homogenizing force that victimizes local communities, Asher argues that development processes and social movements shape each other in uneven and paradoxical ways. She bases her argument on ethnographic analysis of the black social movements that emerged from and interacted with political and economic changes in Colombia s Pacific lowlands, or Choco region, in the 1990s. The Pacific region had yet to be overrun by drug traffickers, guerrillas, and paramilitary forces in the early 1990s. It was better known as the largest area of black culture in the country (90 percent of the region s population is Afro-Colombian) and as a supplier of natural resources, including timber, gold, platinum, and silver. Colombia s Law 70, passed in 1993, promised ethnic and cultural rights, collective land ownership, and socioeconomic development to Afro-Colombian communities. At the same time that various constituencies sought to interpret and implement Law 70, the state was moving ahead with large-scale development initiatives intended to modernize the economically backward coastal lowlands. Meanwhile national and international conservation organizations were attempting to protect the region s rich biodiversity. Asher explores this juxtaposition of black rights, economic development, and conservation-and the tensions it catalyzed. She analyzes the meanings attached to culture, nature, and development by the Colombian state and Afro-Colombian social movements, including women s groups. In so doing, she shows that the appropriation of development and conservation discourses by the social movements had a paradoxical effect. It legitimized the presence of state, development, and conservation agencies in the Pacific region even as it influenced those agencies visions and plans. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780822344834

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