Quilombolas territories and Black spatial experiences in Brazil

Authors: Gabriela Rodrigues Gois*, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Topics: Black Geographies, Rural Geography, Latin America
Keywords: Quilombos, Black geographies, territories
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 10
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The social and territorial formation of Brazil – constituted on its colonialist past - is defined by land concentration and valorization of private property. In this context, the recognition and regularization of collective territories constructed by Black Rural Quilombola Communities are historical demands that are part of the Afrodescendant political agenda in Brazil. Contemporary quilombos constitute complex forms of social articulation represented by different collectivities, whose ancestors resisted colonial slavery through the creation of free communities in urban and rural spaces. Nowadays, quilombolas have been employing the territory - as a concept and as a political instrument - to demand different rights, such as housing, health, and education. This study - developed through life history method and narratives of Black rural communities located in the extreme south of Brazil - aims to discuss quilombola territories as constructed and lived spaces. Therefore, we acknowledge several daily practices, such as agricultural and non-agricultural work, different ways of dwelling and conceiving the place, as well as practices of nature transformation. We argue that this kind of relationship with the territory enables the social and economic reproduction of those subjects and communities. Quilombos' geographies involve multidimensionality, racial, social, cultural, political and economic issues. Also, aspects such as identity, ancestry, solidarity, and resistance are foundational of living in the territory, subverting the notions traditionally attributed to this spatial category, associated with the institutionalized power represented by the State and its practices of domination.

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