Extended Urbanization in Eastern Amazonia: the operationalization of Carajás

Authors: Rodrigo Castriota*, Center for Development and Regional Planning - UFMG
Topics: Urban Geography, South America, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Extended Urbanization, Brazilian Amazonia, Extractivism, Operationalization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Hampton Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Extended urbanization is a vital concept to understand contemporary sociospatial dynamics in Eastern Amazonia as extractivism, as conceptualized by Eduardo Gudynas, becomes the primary inducer of urbanization in Brazil. The region of Carajás undergoes a rapid process of 'operationalization' -- one of the key elements embedded within extended urbanization -- through mining activities put forward by the major transnational Vale S.A. The territorial impacts of large scale mining -- particularly the S11D, the largest open-pit mine of the world geared towards iron extraction -- and energy projects can be seen as a new round of extended urbanization in which a large multiplicity of temporalities are juxtaposed through different spatialities and mechanisms of control imposed by transnational capital often in parallel to state strategies and practices. Even though many tentacles of the state (most notably, military and police forces, different scales of the judiciary system and environmental agencies) are mobilized by transnational capital towards the production of an 'abstract space', many are the attempts and strategies of different social movements and civil society organizations to fight the overarching processes and logics through territorial practices of occupation and contestation. In this scenario, the tensions between differential and abstract space can be best understood through a territorial approach to extended urbanization. More specifically, one that accounts for the contradictions embedded within abstract space thus revealing different urban worlds marked by radical politicization, especially after the coup d'etat of 2016 and the ongoing consolidation of neo-fascism in the country.

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