• 14/06/19 Inaugural lecture of prof.dr. Barbara Hogenboom

  • Latin America’s vast reserves of minerals (metals, oil, coal and gas) have often proven to be a curse instead of a blessing for its development. The region’s mineral wealth has generated international dependency relationships, economic instability, elite capture, social inequality and ecological destruction. Have recent economic and political shifts changed these patterns? What is the role of minerals in Latin American imaginary and society? And what can we learn from new bottom-up initiatives to escape the mineral resource curse and protect nature and communities?

    Barbara Hogenboom discusses pro’s and cons of the rise of China and of the phase of new left dominance in the region. These trends coincided not only with the global commodity boom but also with a region-wide protest boom against environmental injustices of mining and oil drilling, and with a deepened dependency on minerals. In order to better understand contemporary resource dependency, she proposes to look beyond economic and political dimensions, and to study social and cultural attitudes towards mineral wealth in Latin America, such as deeply engrained ideas and collective imaginaries. Through new research and co-creation projects, her aim is to study and support Latin American initiatives for alternative approaches to living with minerals, such as leaving fossil fuels underground and granting more rights to citizens and even to nature.

    Please find here the lecture online: