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The recent constituent discussion in Chile has opened a debate on the pillars and principles that sustain the social pact between the Chilean state and those who inhabit its territory. The definition of citizenship has been approached from the perspective of the expansion of rights and guarantees, recognizing the territorial dimension of their exercise. In this talk, Professor Beatriz Bustos Gallardo of the Universidad de Chile will analyze citizenship practices in rural territories to propose a topography of rural citizenship practices.
The expansion of extractivist activities under a neoliberal state has given way to resentment and fragmentation of decision-making spaces, generating a topography of archipelagic citizenship that erodes the legitimacy of these spaces. The emerging topography shows gaps and scalar variations depending on the historical trajectories of the relationship with the state (legitimacy of past and present interventions) and the argumentative capacity of those who inhabit the rural territory in the presence of extractive activities.
Professor Gallardo will present two regions characterized as resource frontiers in Chile: Aysén and O’Higgins, where the salmon and fruit industries have connected historically rural territories with global production networks. Three topographic categories (slopes, undulations, and undercuts) emerge from analyzing the configurations of decisional spaces in rural territories.
Beatriz Bustos Gallardo is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the Universidad de Chile. Her research focuses on resource geography and the sociopolitical transformations that the exploitation of natural resources produces in rural communities. Her work ranges from examining the geography of commodities such as salmon, copper, wine, agro-industries, coal, lithium, and green hydrogen, to rural livelihoods under neoliberal extractive economies. She is now exploring ideas of rural citizenship.