Barbara Galindo

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

Pronouns: She/her

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

Headshot of a woman with short curly brown hair, she is smiling.

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

Drawing on multiple disciplines, my research develops a cultural critique of extractivism that conceptualizes the mining space as a historical and cultural matrix of longstanding disabling, eco-genocidal, and urbicidal extractivist practices in Latin America. My book project, tentatively titled “Tortured Zones, Orphanized Lives: Cultural Representations of Mining Terror in South America,” examines a selection of cultural products that depict how transnational mining violence (re)produces uneven racial geographies through a reordering of space-time and social life in rural and urban settings. It analyzes films, essays, and images that depict the socio-environmental consequences of large-scale mining occupation in the Peruvian Central Andes, the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, the Brazilian Amazon, and the “lithium triangle” in Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, where the new lithium gold rush to make electric batteries is pillaging indigenous territories. Despite the growing critical interest in discussing the issue of extractivism in Latin American cultural production, there are still few studies that focus on mining and emphasize non-modern Western analytical tools to examine this topic. I try to fill this gap by resorting to indigenous onto-epistemologies and narratives that challenge the dominant modern mining episteme as the heart of my project. My work aims to develop new concepts that contribute to decolonize and re-dramatize the debate on extractivism and climate change in Latin America.

Barbara Galindo holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA. Her primary research interests focus on Twentieth- and Twentieth-First-Century Latin American Cultural Production; Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity; Environmental Humanities; and Ecosocial Human Rights. She lived in the Peruvian Amazon where she worked for two years (2010-2012) at the Sachamama Center for BioCultural Regeneration (SCBR). At the SCBR, she coordinated a literary cartonera project for the Kichwa-Lamista indigenous communities that was part of the Cultural Agents Initiative of Harvard University. In 2016, she completed the first Spanish translation of seven essays on Amazonia by Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha, grouped under the title Un paraíso perdido: ensayos amazónicos and published by Pasacalle, 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).