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River Rail

Readings, resources, and audiovisual material

The rights of nature, ancestral philosophies and defense of territories against extractivism: A selected list of readings, resources, and audiovisual material (in English and Spanish)

For this issue of the River Rail Lauren Bon of Metabolic Studio asked me to recommend readings, resources, and audiovisual texts related to various interconnected themes—the rights of Nature, water rights, extractive industries, and ancestral, black, indigenous and women’s activism in defense of their territories. Given my own research and location in Ecuador, the reading list leans towards Ecuador, South America, oil and mining, and engaged academic and activist research.

There is a lot of wonderful material, much of which is not on this list, given space issues. My apologies for omitting important works. However, my hope is that this sampling is a jumping-off point for your own exploration!


Children of the Jaguar. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Directed by Amnesty International and Eriberto Gualinga, Indigenous filmmaker and member of the Sarayaku indigeous territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon. A gripping look at the struggles of this indigenous group to keep oil extraction off their land, a fight that is based on their philosophy of Sachak Kawsay.

Yaku chaski Warmikuna Mensajeras del Río Curaray. [Defenders of the River Curaray] (2017, Maizal Productions, 13 minute documentary in Kichwa and Spanish).

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, a group of women leaders from different indigenous nationalities fight to stop of growth of the oil frontier. Over the past few years, they have led public forums and marches, and walked hundreds of miles from their territories to meet with the Ecuadorian government in Quito—only to have their demands fall on deaf ears. In this video, they continue their work by travellling along the waterways to different Amazonian communities, in defense of the intertwined rights of Nature and women.

Movimiento Regional Por la Tierra

Great portal for information about the movements’ struggles across South America. The link reveals a map of struggles and connects each one’s case study.

Reading List

Acosta, A. (2013). El Buen Vivir, Sumak Kawsay: Una oportunidad para imaginar otros mundos. [Good Living, Sumak Kawsay: An opportunity to imagine other worlds]. Quito: Abya Yala

Acosta, A., E. Martínez and W. Sacher. (2013). Salir del extractivismo: una condición para el Sumak Kawsay. Propuestas sobre petróleo, minería y energía en el Ecuador. [Leaving extractivism: a condition for Good Living]. In Grupo Permanente de Trabajo sobre Alternativas al Desarrollo (Eds.) Alternativas al capitalismo/colonialismo del siglo XXI (p. 307-382). Quito: Fundación Rosa Luxemburg

Andreucci, D., & Radhuber, I. M. (2017). Limits to “counter-neoliberal” reform: Mining expansion and the marginalisation of post-extractivist forces in Evo Morales’s Bolivia. Geoforum84, 280-291.

Arboleda, M. (2016). Spaces of Extraction, Metropolitan Explosions: Planetary Urbanization and the Commodity Boom in Latin America. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research40(1), 96-112.

Avila-García, P. (2017). Water as a Human Right in the Global South: Ethical, Legal and Sociopolitical Dimensions. In The Human Face of Water Security (pp. 71-94). Springer International Publishing.

Bowman, N. (2017). “Our Economy Walks on the Land”: Secwepemc Resistance and Resilience After the Imperial Metals Mt. Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée44(1), 25-35.

Brand, U., Boos, T., & Brad, A. (2017). Degrowth and post-extractivism: two debates with suggestions for the inclusive development framework. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability24, 36-41.

Brechin, S. R. (2014). Where Rivers Meet the Sea: The Political Ecology of Water. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews43(3), 379-380.

Buechler, S., & Hanson, A. M. S. (Eds.). (2015). A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change (Vol. 15). Routledge.

Coryat, Diana. “Extractive Politics, Media Power, and New Waves of Resistance Against Oil Drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon: The Case of Yasunidos.” International Journal of Communication 9 (2015): 3741-3760. (Also available on author’s site).

Coryat, D., & Lavinas Picq, M. (2016). Ecuador’s Expanding Extractive Frontier: New social movements are challenging the Ecuadorean government’s decision to drill for oil in the Yasuní National Park. NACLA Report on the Americas48(3), 280-283.

Castillo, R. A. H., Salinas, A. T., Sierra, M. T., Cervone, E., Cucuri, C., Bohrt, A. C. A., ... & De Marinis, N. (2017). Demanding Justice and Security: Indigenous Women and Legal Pluralities in Latin America. Rutgers University Press.

Daza, R. Hoetmer and V. Vargas (Eds.), Crisis y movimientos sociales en nuestra América: cuerpos, territorios e imaginarios en disputa (pp. 23-68). Lima, PE: Programa Democracia y Transformación Global.

de la Cadena, M. (2015). Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015. 368 pp.

Escobar, Arturo. Anything by this author, including recent works:

Escobar, A. (2017). Sustaining the Pluriverse: The Political Ontology of Territorial Struggles in Latin America. In The Anthropology of Sustainability (pp. 237-256). Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Escobar, A. (2016). Thinking-feeling with the Earth: Territorial Struggles and the Ontological Dimension of the Epistemologies of the South. AIBR. Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana11(1).

Fabricant, N., & Postero, N. (2015). Sacrificing indigenous bodies and lands: The Political–Economic History of Lowland Bolivia in Light of the Recent TIPNIS Debate. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology20(3), 452-474.

Fulmer, A. M. (2014). The Politics of a Strange Right: Consultation, Mining, and Indigenous Mobilization in Latin America. In The Uses and Misuses of Human Rights (pp. 65-88). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Goff, A. (2013) Oil Is Not Life in the Amazon. Clear Water.

Gómez-Barris, M. (2017). The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives. Duke University Press.

Gudynas, E. (2011). Transitions to post-extractivism: Directions, options, areas of action. Beyond Development, 165-188.

Gudynas, E. (2016). Derechos de la naturaleza: ética biocéntrica y políticas ambientales.

Gustafson, B., & Solano, N. G. (2016). Mining movements and political horizons in the Andes: articulation, democratization, and worlds othewise. Mining in Latin America: Critical Approaches to the New Extraction, 112.

Mining in Latin America: Critical Approaches to the New Extraction

Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press.

Herold, Kiana (2017). The Rights of Nature: Indigenous philosophies reframing law.

Hollender, R. (2015). Post-Growth in the Global South: The Emergence of Alternatives to Development in Latin America. Socialism and Democracy29(1), 73-101.

Jenkins, K. (2015). Unearthing Women's Anti‐Mining Activism in the Andes: Pachamama and the “Mad Old Women.” Antipode47(2), 442-460.

Jenkins, K., & Rondón, G. (2015). “Eventually the mine will come”: women anti-mining activists’ everyday resilience in opposing resource extraction in the Andes. Gender & Development23(3), 415-431.

Lander, E. (2009). Los límites del planeta y la crisis civilizatoria: Ambitos y sujetos de las resistencias.

Loperena, C. A. (2017). Honduras is open for business: extractivist tourism as sustainable development in the wake of disaster? Journal of Sustainable Tourism25(5), 618-633.

Ludlow, F., Baker, L., Brock, S., Hebdon, C., & Dove, M. R. (2016). The Double Binds of Indigeneity and Indigenous Resistance. Humanities5(3), 53.

Machado, M., López Matta, D., Campo, M. M., Escobar, A., & Weitzner, V. (2017). Weaving hope in ancestral black territories in Colombia: the reach and limitations of free, prior, and informed consultation and consent. Third World Quarterly38(5), 1075-1091.

Martinez-Alier, J., & Walter, M. (2016). Social metabolism and conflicts over extractivism. Environmental Governance in Latin America. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 58-85.

Peralta, P. O., Bebbington, A., Hollenstein, P., Nussbaum, I., & Ramírez, E. (2015). Extraterritorial investments, environmental crisis, and collective action in Latin America. World Development73, 32-43.

Perreault, T. (2015). Performing participation: Mining, power, and the limits of public consultation in Bolivia. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology20(3), 433-451.

Perreault, T. (2012). Dispossession by accumulation? Mining, water and the nature of enclosure on the Bolivian Altiplano. Antipode45(5), 1050-1069.

Picq, M.L. (2014). Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism: How Indigenous Resistance Challenges World Politics. Self.

Seoane, J., E. Taddei and C. Algranati. (2013). Extractivismo, despojo y crisis climática. Buenos Aires, AR: Editorial El Colectivo y GEAL.

Svampa, M. (2013). Resource Extractivism and Alternatives: Latin American Perspectives on Development. Beyond Development, 117.

Svampa, M. (2015). Commodities Consensus: Neoextractivism and Enclosure of the Commons in Latin America. South Atlantic Quarterly114(1), 65-82.

Timmons, J. R. (2013). Trouble in paradise: Globalization and environmental crises in Latin America. Routledge.

Velardi y Marzo Zeisser P., (eds.) (2012) Desarrollo territorial y extractivismo: Luchas y alternativasen la región Andina. Centro Bartolomé de las Casas, CooperAcción y GRET: Cusco.

Veltmeyer, H., & Bowles, P. (2014). Dynamics of Extractivist Resistance: Linking Latin America and Northern British Columbia, Canada. In En ligne. (Vol. 2020, p. 14).

Walter, M. (2014). Political ecology of mining conflicts in Latin America: an analysis of environmental justice movements and struggles over scales.


Diana Coryat

Diana Coryat, Ph.D. is a communication scholar and media activist. Her current research and activism is focused on resistance to extractivism in Ecuador, and how the mediated and artistic practices of social movements shape societal imaginaries. She is the co-founder of Global Action Project (


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