Latin American Anthropology Seminar Series
04 May 2017, 17:30 to 04 May 2017, 19:30
Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Clate Korsant, Goldsmiths
The practice of environmental activism in the Osa Peninsula is varied and changing in ways revealed by research participants who discuss “grassroots” activism, the “new school” of conservation, and other forms of activism meant to empower communities through its outreach. Many informants have demonstrated as much, as well as a passion for their work that has translated into better-established trust and communication between activists and communities than previously acknowledged. Because of the institutionalized character of Costa Rican environmentalism, meetings and collective action align with many state-sponsored objectives; and similar environmental meetings and festivals in the Osa are particularly revealing for understanding the nuances of conservation in local practice. The semi-formal talks – for example - organized in Puerto Jiménez by a few Costa Rican environmentalists drawn to the Osa, were spaces that came to exemplify grassroots activism, demonstrate the tensions of community outreach, characterize a shift in our understanding of environmentalism, and expose how enviro-national values are negotiated in such a setting. By exposing details regarding the practice of biodiversity conservation, this chapter complicates the “binary” of green imperialism and grassroots activism; explaining both as differing forms of normative action, but the effort to move towards the grassroots as more egalitarian and anthropocentric.
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