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FIGEMPA: Investigación y Desarrollo

On-line version ISSN 2602-8484Print version ISSN 1390-7042


SCHWAB, Julia. Temporalities in Friction: Planning and Temporal Violence in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Figempa [online]. 2023, vol.16, n.2, pp.106-129. ISSN 2602-8484.

In the light of global challenges like climate change, the energy transition, and biodiversity loss, the possibility of a future ‘otherwise’ seems to shrink. The Amazon denominated “the lungs of the Earth” is a focal point in these discussions as its future is not just important to the (Indigenous) people who live there, but to humanity itself. As the past and the present of the Amazon are rather marked by violent encounters and an intensification of extractive endeavors, this article considers how these violent structures persist across time, but also how they can be broken up and transformed. Therefore, the concept of “temporal violence” is introduced, on the one hand, to grasp the enduring structures of violence that creep into future timespaces through (state) planning, and, on the other hand, to underline that this violence is just one possible future out of a multiplicity of futures – it potentially can be temporary. Merging the anthropological insights of the experiences of Indigenous grassroots organizations in planning their futures with critical futures studies, this article explores the possibilities of alternative futures to materialize. To this end, planning as a mechanism of power with both violent and subversive qualities is discussed. The central inquiry raised by this article is, hence, how planning can be an instrument for decolonization, challenging and altering relations of violence.

Keywords : amazon; extractivism; futures studies; indigenous planning; structural violence; slow violence.

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