280 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Release Date:01 Jan 2016
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Radical Territories in the Brazilian Amazon

The Kayapó's Fight for Just Livelihoods

The University of Arizona Press
Indigenous groups are facing unprecedented global challenges in this time of unparalleled environmental and geopolitical change, a time that has intensified human-rights concerns and called for political and economic restructuring. Within this landscape of struggle, the Kayapó, an indigenous nation in the central Brazilian Amazon, emerge as leaders in the fight.

Radical Territories in the Brazilian Amazon sheds light on the creative and groundbreaking efforts Kayapó peoples deploy to protect their lands and livelihoods. Now at the front lines of cultivating diversified strategies for resistance, the Kayapó are creating a powerful activist base, experimenting with nontimber forest projects, and forging strong community conservation partnerships. Tracing the complex politics of the Kayapó’s homeland, Laura Zanotti advances approaches to understanding how indigenous peoples cultivate self-determination strategies in conflict-ridden landscapes.

Kayapó peoples are providing a countervision of what Amazonia can look like in the twenty-first century, dominated neither by agro-industrial interests nor by uninhabited protected landscapes. Instead, Kayapó peoples see their homeland as a living landscape where indigenous vision engages with broader claims for conservation and development in the region.

Weaving together anthropological and ethnographic research with personal interactions with the Kayapó, Zanotti tells the story of activism and justice in the Brazilian Amazon, and how Kayapó communities are using diverse pathways to make a sustainable future for their peoples and lands. The author interweaves Kayapó perspectives with a political ecology framework to show how working with indigenous peoples is vital to addressing national and global challenges in the present time, when many environmentally significant conditions and processes are profoundly altered by human activities.
RELATED TOPICS: Anthropology
Zanotti makes an important contribution to the literature of human-centered conservation through her examination of the means by which one extraordinary group of people has successful retained their cultural identity, protected their ancestral lands, and confronted the outside world on their own terms. Conservation Biology
Zanotti provides a detailed and moving account of Kayapó courage and will in the face of what might seem overwhelming odds. She intersperses her experiences and impressions with historical chronicles and relevant theories. Valuable to aid workers, development agents, and anyone interested in South American Indigenous peoples. Choice
Laura Zanotti is an associate professor of anthropology at Purdue University. She is an environmental anthropologist who partners with communities to examine how local livelihoods and well-being can be sustained in a just future. She has partnered with the Kayapó, an indigenous community in Brazil, for more than ten years. She is currently working on global projects on media sovereignty and digital landscapes, environmental justice and valuing nature, and community resilience and healing.
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