MANZANO Virginia Lilian
congresos y reuniones científicas
To produce the city, destabilize the neighbor, re-create community: The collective politics of the Tupac Amaru movement in the Argentine North
Congreso; The 18th International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences World Congress; 2018
International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences -Federal University of Santa Catarina
The Tupac Amaru movement in Jujuy ?a northern province- has challenged the neighborhood-neighbor binomial, characteristic of Argentinean politics. Through its political action, the Tupac Amaru has destabilized ?the neighbor? to remake it in multiple directions via inclusive understandings of community rooted in class relations, sexualities, gender and ethnicity. As a category, the ?neighbor? refers to affective ties of proximity, a type of territorial attachment, and a quasi-legal status that confers him/her certain rights in front of other persons and before the State. It is also a category inherited from the Spanish colonization, through which the Spaniards and their descendants organized the domain over the indigenous population. That order was partially disrupted after the independence in the 19th century. In Jujuy, the Creole elites perpetuated their dominance afterwards: the exerted control over the land and managed institutional politics. In this way, the Indians and their descendants progressively became tenants of large territorial properties and highly exploited waged workers, whose access to space (far away from urban centers) was associated with their occupational categories in sugar mills and mining companies. However, starting in the 1970s, the privatization, restructuring, and closure of sugar and mining production centers increased the tendency towards provincial urbanization. The displaced populations settled on the edges of water courses, routes, and old railway tracks, and many engaged with a dynamics of massive land occupations. In the cities, they combined precarious jobs with systematic attempts to gain access to public employment. The Tupac Amaru movement gained strength, as a social movement, by incorporating the unemployed and, also, people holding precarious jobs, who claimed the attention of the State by demanding income transfer programs. In addition, the Tupac Amaru intervened on the massive process of land occupation and the building of popular urbanizations in the province, inserting the housing units into broader "welfare devices? that included also the provision of health benefits, and the foundation of schools and recreational-sports complexes. The Tupac Amaru movement collectively produced neighborhoods and city: it helped root the previously displaced into emblematic places while it decoupled that production from the construction of ?the neighbor?. The members of this movement domesticated nature to urbanize the interstitial land between the provincial capital and the region of bean and tobacco farms. At the same time, they occupied the city center as subjects marked in terms of class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. They came into the main streets of the capital city during acts of protest, rituals of redistribution of socially valued objects and food on children's day or Christmas, LGBT pride marches, and indigenous ceremonies. They daily occupied places of urban consumption and recreation, traditionally reserved for ?the neighbors?, thanks to the money they got as workers in the housing cooperatives that the Tupac Amaru Movement run across the province. In this way, ?the neighbor?, an inhabitant identified with values associated with the white world (and, as such, seen as urban, masculine, property-holder, and privileged) was threatened by the growth of the urban peripheries and challenged by the political action of the Tupac Amaru. While the category of ?the neighbor? survived in Jujuy as a colonial legacy and as support for a spatial and social order of class, ethnic, and sexual hierarchies, the Tupac Amaru produced the category of ?the tupaqueros? to indicate other modes of community re-creation. The Tupaqueros became neither poor nor rich; neither unemployed nor formal workers; neither Indians nor whites; neither rural nor urban; neither only men, nor only women. I argue, then, that the Tupaqueros can be better understood as a set of practices for community building as well as a pedagogical project for the making of people through the cultivation of moral virtues. Those practices and project openly challenged a social order centered on the category of ?the neighbor?. This paper will focus on the analysis of those practices and pedagogical projects that gave life to the Tupaqueros. In so doing, I will engage in a discussion about the plurality of ways to produce city and society in contemporary Latin America.