Ana Mariella Bacigalupo
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Buffalo, State U. of
Grant numberGr. 9775
Approve DateApril 27, 2019
Project TitleBacigalupo, Ana Mariella (SUNY Buffalo) "The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Northern Peru"
ANA M. BACIGALUPO, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2019 to aid research on “The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Northern Peru.” As climate change and extractive industries wreak havoc in Peru, contributing to socioeconomic inequality and structural violence, poor mestizo communities have increasingly re-engaged Indigenous sentient landscapes — mountains (apus), lakes, and Indigenous monuments (wak’as), which have the capacity to sense, feel, and act — to advocate for the environment. Since poor mestizos feel that government, extractive industries, and the Catholic Church have failed them, many see re-engagement with these Indigenous sentient landscapes, who maintain relationships with curanderos (local shamans), as the only way to counteract the moral and environmental crises of the neoliberal world and the devastation caused by gold-mining companies. The grantee has researched how and why poor mestizos and curanderos engage specific sentient apus, wak’as, and lakes in the northern regions of La Libertad (Moche and Chicama Valleys, Huamachuco), Lambayeque (Tucume), and Piura (Huancambamba), to promote diverse models for collective ethics and environmental justice. These range from demands for pure intentions and the value of life and water to the exchange of offerings for sustenance and health to punishments for misdeeds, corruption, and greed through suffering, death, and mudslides. When mining breaks relationships between humans and sentient landscapes, these landscapes become intentional actors in the struggle to counteract environmental devastation.