University of Colorado at Boulder

Colloquia Event

Friday November 02, 2012. 03:30 pm. GUGG 205

March on fire: Making property at the urban fringe of Cartagena, Colombia

Roseann Cohen

Community Agroecology Network and Yale University, Program in Agrarian Studies

Abstract: This talk will draw on ethnographic research about the property relations that shaped a land dispute between a group of displaced farmers, organized as a peasant association, and the owners of a private estate at Cartagena's urban fringe. In particular, a case of arson, in which a farmers’ house was burnt down, illuminates the overlapping claims to the estate. The peasant association claimed land based on their labor transforming an idle estate into farmland, as evidenced by crops, trees, houses and fences. However, relying on cultivation practices to enact property across space and time can be a difficult feat for farmers with little control over the land they cultivated. Their story about cultivating crops under the threat of eviction is about the work it takes to make property. I will organize my discussion of farmers’ efforts to make property around “space-times” to demonstrate how property relations fluctuate across time and space, and the complex overlay of multiple claims and insecurities that compromised farmers’ access to land.

Geography colloquium series was made possible by the generous support from The Beirne Carter Foundation.

Co-sponsored by ENVS Program