Category: Amazon

Amazon: Editor’s Letter

The Amazon is burning. The trees that have not been cut down are on fire. The crisis is now. When I began to work on this issue on the Amazon, that was pretty much my vision, and it was a real one. I was determined to make the magazine on the Amazon about…

How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die analyzes the main dangers that modern democracies face. As the authors warn, 21st-century democracies do not die in one fell swoop, in a violent way, by hands that do not always belong to the political system. On the contrary, modern democracies…

The Return of Collective Intelligence

My college Native American Culture professor,  the Mescalero Apache scholar Inez Sánchez, told our class that we should regard the word “primitive” as synonymous with “complex.” I gained a better understanding of what Sánchez meant reading The Return of Collective…

Vernacular Sovereignties

English + Español
Manuela Lavinas Picq, a professor at the Universidad San Francisco en Quito, Ecuador, offers a rarely seen representation of Latin American Indigenous women as a collective, historical and political actor in search of justice and social transformation. Eurocentric, capitalist…

The Canela and I

English + Português
A mestiça born in Brazil, I had many worlds from which to choose. I could have selected that of my Sicilian ancestors, those immigrant Librandis who came to São Paulo eager for honest work of nearly any sort. I also could have chosen the Hakimes, Syrian immigrants who…

The Fernando Coronil Reader

English + Español
Fernando Coronil appears on the cover of this posthumous book in a photograph taken by his daughter Mariana. Cement and a communications tower appears to distance him from his beloved plains and grasslands. But no such distance exists. The hammock from…

Borderland Battles

When then-President Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace accord with one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest guerrillas in 2016 (the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), optimism ran high that an end to decades-long violence in Colombia had been…

Exile Music

Novels about the Holocaust and Jewish survival span countries and languages and audiences of all ages. Such stories tend to be told against a European or United States background. Rarely does a novel involve European Jewish refugees who found sanctuary in Latin…

Fluvial Poetics in the Amazon

English + Español
We were in the hands of the river. I had been told that the boat for Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, would depart from Santarém at noon. Instead, we set sail at 2 pm. The arrival was even more difficult to determine. The guy who sold me the tickets assured me that…

A Seat at the Table

About a year ago, a foreign visitor to Harvard gifted me with an odd realization. It doesn’t seem as something intentionally taught, but it may have been—it is impossible to know someone else’s intentions. What I know is that his spatial and cosmological imagination grew…

Circuits of Glass

In 1909, Emilia Snethlage, a German ornithologist working for the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, arrived at the Curuá River in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. Just five years earlier, Snethlage (1868-1929) had received a Ph.D. from Freiburg University at a time when women…

Learning to Heal in an Amazonian Capital

It’s my 37th birthday, and I’m seventy days into social isolation in my hometown. Being from Belém has gifted me with a taste for the wonders of brega popular music, a knowledge of traditional herbal baths and an ability to cope with extreme heat and humidity…

Latin American Soldiers

John R. Bawden’s Latin American Soldiers: Armed Forces in the Region’s History introduces readers to the study of Latin American’s Armed Forces., Bawden examines warfare and military traditions in four different countries (Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Chile)…

The Powers of the Sacred

Some 45 years ago, when I first went to live as an anthropology doctoral student, with the Baniwa indigenous people of the northwest Amazon in Brazil, it was a very remote place, though still under the control of Catholic Salesian and Protestant evangelical missionaries…

Brazilian Amazon at a Crossroads

The first time I traveled to the Brazilian Amazon some years ago, I visited my friend Simone in Macapá. The capital of Amapá, one of the nine states that make up Brazil’s Legal Amazon region, Macapá is a sleepy town on the northern bank of the Amazon River, close to…

Lack of Oxygen in the Amazon

English + Español
“The eight relatives died in fourteen days. One after the other, we went burying them all. I didn’t even get a rest. When I was drifting off to sleep, someone would always call: ‘Your uncle died.’ ‘Your grandfather died.’ If another Kokama dies, we will not have any tears left…

The Defense of Life within the Forest

English + Português
“The most important thing is audacity,” the Amazonian environmental activist Maria said to me. “If you have the courage to fight, then fight,” her husband, Zé Claudio, emphasized…

Indigenous Peoples and the Theater

English + Português
It was 2001 and I still can feel to this day the strength that propelled me towards Kamayura village. There live an indigenous people speaking the Kamayura language, which belongs to the Tupi linguistic branch. Their area is part of the Xingu Indigenous Park…

From Canaima to Canaima National Park

English + Español
Sometimes we find our research topics in other people’s footnotes. I first read Canaima (1935), a lesser-studied novel by author, teacher and former president Rómulo Gallegos (1884-1969), as a student of Latin American literature in the doctoral program at Johns Hopkins…

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