Del andar y movernos en la ciudad al 'navegar' en la misma: nuevos paradigmas y desafíos para la etnografía de ámbito urbano

Inspired by Degregori’s article*, this paper explores how Andean peasants’ or comuneros’ engagements in national and international welfare programs, tourism and the construction of infrastructures are framed into urban/rural historical encounters where the meanings of race and gender are at stake. My point of departure is an examination of the Indigenismo movement and the so called “ el problema del indio” debate in Peru during mid-19th to mid- 20th century. Then, based on my ethnographic material, the paper discusses the effect and persistence of such discourses in current development programs in a rural village in the region of Cusco.  I will show, for example, how developmental projects and construction of infrastructures are related to indigenistas ideas about, modernity, progress and urbanism.  Villagers, however, far from passively, are actively engage in such development programmes; always negotiating and making their own meanings about their place as indigenous, comuneros and citizens in Peruvian society. The ethnographic material was collected during long-term fieldwork in Chinchero, Peru, and consists mainly of participant observation, interviews and to a lesser degree visual material. *” Del problema del indio al problema del pobre ” is the name of the article written by the Peruvian anthropologist Carlos Ivan degregory in 2008.

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