Mining ecology. Nature/culture relations of environmental conflicts regarding mining extractivism in Chile

PhD Project

The research focus on the entanglements that are part of a regional extractivism, expressed in an institutional and legal dimension, but which also shapes particular relationships between interested groups when the state has been minimised by neoliberal policy. A situation that renders local communities defenceless, but not at all. Different resistances against mining take place, where negotiations, activism and resistance become diffuse forms of action.

The research is focused on a Chilean Region in the Atacama Desert (Tarapacá), a region which has been generally conceived as a rich deposit of natural resources. The construction of a Chilean imaginary as a “mining country” has contributed to the displacement of resource frontiers, also influenced by global demands for new natural resources. The study attempts to follow and collect the voices of those local and indigenous communities who feel threatened by these processes, regarding their fear and uncertainties about the unexpected social and environmental impacts of mining on these territories.


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Infrastructure & EnergyLandWater