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Tortured Zones, Orphanized Lives: Contemporary Cultural Representations of Mining Terror in South America

March 20 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Photograph of Raul Rojas open pit mine in the city of Cerro de Pasco, Central Andes, Peru. August 2018.
Image courtesy of Barbara Galindo.

Barbara Galindo

ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity [Emerging Voices Fellow], 2022-2024

Ph.D., Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of California, Los Angeles


Interrogating the mine as a historical and cultural matrix of long-standing extractive plunder in Latin America reveals how extractive capitalism continues to (re)produce uneven racial geographies across the continent. In fact, the rapid expansion of the extractivist model favored by the economic reforms of the 1990s and the increase in mining exploration have resulted in a neo-colonial assault upon not only the ancestral lands of Indigenous and Afro-descendant people but also cities whose subsoils become coveted by transnational corporations. Focusing on iconic mining sites in South America that have been exploited since colonial times, this book-length project, “Tortured Zones, Orphanized Lives,” examines a selection of cultural products that depict the current dimensions of mining dispossession, both its eco-genocidal and urbicidal violence, as well as the efforts of victimized communities and environmental activists to counter such aggressions. Through analyzing these works, the book proposes new concepts for understanding the socio-environmental costs of extractivism in the neoliberal era.


Barbara Galindo holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA. From 2010 to 2012, Barbara lived in the Peruvian Amazon and worked for two years at the Sachamama Center for BioCultural Regeneration (SCBR), where she coordinated a literary cartonera project with the Kichwa-Lamista indigenous communities that was part of the Cultural Agents Initiative of Harvard University. At the cartonera, she edited and published four books written by Indigenous authors. In 2016, with a translation grant from the National Library of Brazil, she completed the first Spanish translation of seven essays on Amazonia by Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha, published by Pasacalle, in Lima. In 2020, as the Editor-in-Chief of Mester, she completed a peer-reviewed general issue on human rights with a special section on ecosocial human rights (focused on Amazonia and the Andes).

*Events currently open only to 2022-23 fellows due to space concerns; please contact IRH at info@irh.wisc.edu to be added to a cancellation list for in-person events.*


March 20
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States
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