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Liberty time in question: historical duration and indigenous refusal in post-revolutionary Bolivia

Winchell, Mareike (2020) Liberty time in question: historical duration and indigenous refusal in post-revolutionary Bolivia. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 62 (3). 551 - 587. ISSN 0010-4175

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0010417520000171


This article examines revolutionary discourses of national historical transformation in Bolivia and tracks the ways those discourses are appropriated, contested, and recast by farmers in the rural agricultural province of Ayopaya. During fieldwork carried out with Quechua-speaking farmers in Ayopaya between 2011 and 2012, I learned about people's enduring concerns with a recent hacienda past. Against governmental declarations that Bolivia's colonial past was dead or had passed, farmers meditated on the duration of earlier histories of colonial land dispossession and violations of indigenous sovereignty. Talk about the region's oppressive history here allowed people to assess deficient state aid and resources but also to oppose unwelcome state interventions pushing a legal model of bounded collectivity. I trace the ways that farmers and villagers mobilized the hacienda past to address inequitable land tenure, violated sovereignty, and women's marginalization from political life, and thereby raise new questions about the critical possibilities opened up by the re-politicization of this colonial history. Rural support for Bolivia's Movement Toward Socialism party government eroded nearly a decade ago, and this complicates both triumphalist and defeatist accounts of President Evo Morales' 2019 resignation, which tend to paint Morales' rural indigenous supporters as innocent and naïve.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2024 11:33
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 02:51

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