Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
The First International Meeting for the Liberation of Mother Earth was held on reclaimed land on the outskirts of a sugarcane plantation in southwestern Colombia in August 2017. In the aftermath of the 2016 Peace Accords between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), social movements continued to be subjected to threats, attacks, displacement, and murder, and the International Meeting was not an exception. At the meeting, my status as a researcher meant little to nothing to the anti-riot police threatening to evict us. By participating in the meeting, I assumed an explicit position in relation to the state and became vulnerable to its force. Based on my experiences as an activist researcher in Colombia and the U.S. over the course of a decade, this paper serves as a methodological reflection on the impossibility of neutral ethnography and questions the domesticating effects of violence on anthropological inquiry.