Panel organizers: Fina Carpena-Méndez (Oregon State University)
Aleksandra Wierucka (University of Gdansk)
Youth making and unmaking hope in Latin America’s New Ruralities and beyond
Climate chaos, ecological disasters, failed rural livelihoods promoted by neoliberal models of development, exclusionary and authoritarian politics are the conditions in which peasant and indigenous youth in Latin America give meaning to their daily experiences and shape their life trajectories. Both schools and migration that were imagined as sources of hope have often had contradictory roles or failed to deliver on their promises for a better future for rural populations. Facing Euro-American modernity’s imperative of severing the threads of tradition and the constant emergence of new forms of practice and knowing, we explore ethnographic work on peasant and indigenous youth’s struggles to produce spaces of hope through the active generation of alternatives to a consumer-dependent society, new livelihood strategies, sustaining inter-generational relations and cultural identities, migration, social justice advocacy and beyond.