Now We Are Indígenas! Hegemony and indigeneity in the Bolivian Andes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article explores the ever-shifting semantics and semiotics of the concept “indígena” in the Bolivian Andes, and argues that “indigeneity” is charged with different meanings by different actors in changing contexts of territorial and social struggles and state governance.
The article focuses on the discourse and politics of the indigenous Andean organization CONAMAQ and its response to changing pressures on indigenous territories and resources caused by the nation-building process started in 2006 by the Evo Morales administration. The article identifies a recent conflict in the Bolivian lowlands between indigenous organizations and the Bolivian State as one decisive moment in a broader historical and political process, a moment when two divergent projects of “lo indígena” emerged in the Bolivian Andes: one hegemonic state project of indigeneity and one counter-hegemonic project of indigeneity. The article shows that this was not the first time in Bolivian history that a hegemonic project from above was responded to from below with a counter-hegemonic project. And, what is more, the article argues that hegemonic projects actually tend to create the spaces that are necessary for counter-hegemonic projects to emerge and for new political visions and subjectivities to take form.


  • Anders Burman
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social and Economic Geography


  • Indigeneity, hegemony, counter-hegemony, CONAMAQ, Aymara, Bolivia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-271
JournalLatin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch