The new imagined communities : the case of Hidroituango in Columbia
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The main objective of the dissertation was to understand the relationship between three different phenomena: extractive economy, governance and biopolitics, and their role in the recreation of a specific type of community suitable to the needs of an extractive economy. In order to make visible the byproducts of this ongoing activities, it is necessary to reinterpret how the regimes of production and reproduction of social life are being reshaped. Specifically, I intended to analyze the strategies employed as part of the extractive device that ensure community compliance. Furthermore, these strategies would appear to generate enough changes in both the "social" and in "subjects" to warrant close investigation. I examined the social effects of a hydroelectric project that started on 2010 and currently under construction, in the Cauca River Canyon, Department of Antioquia, in the Northwest of Colombia, South America. The study attempted to explore how communities and their lands are being produced and reproduced through discourse, as a result of strategies that the hydroelectric company and the State--at different levels of governance--have begun to employ to disrupt and create malleable communities. The hegemonic block uses technologies of intervention, cooptation and elimination, which result in something known as the "extractivist device" (Dispositivo extractivista -In spanish). In Latin America, companies began using this method as a socialization process and have been able to impose and legitimize the new extractive model from above. This study also draw the attention to the relationship between the disruption occuring within local rural communities as a result of the large neoliberal extractive projects and the expansion of urban enclaves in Colombia, my homecountry. Over the past 2 decades hundreds of thousands have sought refuge in the cities as the dispossession of land and homes exploded. Earlier research within the city of Medellin, my hometown, drew my attention to the problem of how forcibly displaced people from the countryside is impacting urban life. Attention needs to be paid to the way the violence of the neoliberal economy not only dislocates some communities, but also reconstructs rural communities to suit its own purpose.
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