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Traversing the city : the making of indigenous spatialities within and beyond Buenos Aires Vivaldi Pasqua, Ana I. 2016

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TRAVERSING THE CITY:  THE MAKING OF INDIGENOUS SPATIALITIES  WITHIN AND BEYOND BUENOS AIRES     by      Ana I. Vivaldi Pasqua      LIC., The University of Buenos Aires, 2005 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2007     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in   The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Anthropology)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)    April 2016 © Ana I. Vivaldi Pasqua, 2016 ii  Abstract In this dissertation, I examine the mobile and multi-sited spatiality produced by an indigenous group living in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In particular, I analyze the places that are created by Toba people through movements connecting and disconnecting multiple locations within the city and beyond it, particularly in the Gran Chaco region in the north of the country. My analysis begins by describing an indigenous barrio (neighbourhood) that a group of Toba people created in Greater Buenos Aires in 1995. This dissertation subsequently examines the trajectories that took these people from different villages in the Chaco to other villages and urban barrios in and outside the Chaco, and, finally, to the villas (shantytowns) in Buenos Aires. In addition to these past movements, which I traced through people’s memories, I follow the relations and patterns of mobility that take people from the Barrio Toba to the city centre and middle class barrios, and the ways they connect these places with the Chaco. I conclude this dissertation by considering how all these places are brought together as part of complex networks and forms of interconnection that I analyze as subaltern assemblages.   iii  Preface The research design for this study was approved by UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board (Certificate Number H09-00723).  The Field research for this work was funded by the generous contribution of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), through an Ecopolis Research Award, and by the Liu Institute for Global Issues.  Figures 1 and 3 reprinted with permission of Map data © 2015 Google.  Figure 4 was taken by children participating in a technology workshop. Reprinted with permission of Ana Medrano. Figure 6 is an anonymus phtograph taken on October 17th of 1945. The Copyright is expired and thus is of Public Domain. Found in Archivo General de la Nación Argentina.  Figure 12 is under Creative Commons copyright.    iv  Table of Contents  Abstract ............................................................................................................................................. ii	  Preface ............................................................................................................................................. iii	  Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ iv	  List of Figures ................................................................................................................................... v	  Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................................... v	  Dedication ......................................................................................................................................... x	  Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1	  Urban and Racialized Indigeneities ......................................................................................... 11	  Places as Entanglements, Space as Multiplicity ...................................................................... 14	  Subaltern Spatialities and Assemblages ................................................................................... 16	  Methodology and Fieldwork .................................................................................................... 19	  Structure of the Chapters ......................................................................................................... 26	  Chapter 1: Making a Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires: .................................................................. 29	    Space and the Politics of Recognition ..................................................................................... 29	  To the Barrio Toba: Movement and Space .............................................................................. 29	  A Stroll Through the Barrio: Places as Entanglements ........................................................... 37	  Making an Indigenous Barrio in the Capital: Spatialized Indigenous Politics ........................ 48	  Authentic Indigenous in the City: Uncontested Recognition .................................................. 54	  An Indigenous Barrio in the Conurbano: (Dis)connecting Locations ..................................... 71	  Chapter 2: “Ending up in Buenos Aires”: Affective Mobilities ................................................ 75	  Winding and Entangled Trajectories to Buenos Aires ............................................................. 75	  The Colonization of the Chaco: Regulating Indigenous Mobilities ........................................ 81	  “Looking for a place to be”: Youth Mobilities ........................................................................ 89	  Unusual Trajectories ................................................................................................................ 99	  “Ending up”: Open-ended Trajectories to Buenos Aires ....................................................... 114	  Chapter 3: The Villas: The Spatiality of Race in Buenos Aires .............................................. 119	  Arriving in Buenos Aires, Living in the Shantytowns ........................................................... 119	  How the Toba Became “Negros Villeros”: Race in the City ................................................. 135	  Living in Villas Under Peronism. Affective Engagements ................................................... 139	  Fuerte Apache: A Place of “Apache Indians” ........................................................................ 150	  A Different Shade of Non-White ........................................................................................... 163	  Chapter 4: “Meet the Indians”: Middle-Class Humanitarianism ........................................... 170	  The Barrio as a Site of New Connections .............................................................................. 170	  “Plenty of Visitors”: Help from the Middle Class ................................................................. 177	  Visiting a Place of Authentic Indians .................................................................................... 200	  The Community that Doesn’t Exist ....................................................................................... 213	  Closely Distant ....................................................................................................................... 219	  Chapter 5: Subaltern Assemblages ............................................................................................ 224	  Connecting Heterogeneous Elements .................................................................................... 224	  Moving Packages: Activating Assemblages .......................................................................... 228	  The “Iglesia Unida” Encounters: (Re)creating Associations ................................................. 237	  The Spatiality of Assemblages ............................................................................................... 269	  Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 273	  Bibliography ................................................................................................................................. 283	    v  List of Figures Figure 1: Main Fieldwork locations. Map data © 2015 Google ................................................ 21	  Figure 2: Biking towards the river in the rural area around Bermejito. Photo by the author. .... 22	  Figure 3: Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires Area. Map data © 2015 Google ................. 31	  Figure 4: The Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires as seen by school children. Technology workshop, 2009. Reprinted with permission of Ana Medrano ............................................................. 37	  Figure 6: A Toba Man in Castelli, where he lived as a young adult. Photo by the author. ........ 90	  Figure 9: Archivo General de la Nación Argentina, Unknown author. Public Domain. .......... 145	  Figure 10: An activity with children led by one of the groups helping in the barrio. Photo by the Figure 11: Children in the Unida encounter with their back to the stage, socialize during a religious service. Photo by the Author. ............................................................................. 245	  author. ....................................................................................................................................... 184	  Figure 12: The central fire on the farm. Photo by the author. .................................................. 256	  Figure 13: Crossing the Bermejito River. Photo by the author. ............................................... 259	  Figure 14: The children posing by a skull in the ruins of a criollo farm. Photo by the author. 260	  Figure 15: Puente Transbordador Nicolás Avellaneda. By Richie Diesterheft from Chicago, IL. Creative Commons. ........................................................................................................... 273	    vi  Acknowledgements  This dissertation was the result of multiple encounters. I was fortunate to receive support beyond reason from many people. I met with the people who have shaped these pages in Buenos Aires and the Chaco, in Vancouver, and a few other places. I am enormously thankful to all the people who shared time, life, and ideas with me. My biggest debt is with the people in the Barrio Toba for their hospitality and friendship, for their teachings, and for guiding me across the places you have courageously created. (I keep your surnames away for issues of confidentiality). In particular, I thank: Mauro, Jose and Cecilia and family; Jorge; Valentín and family; Ana and Roque and family; Clemente and Audelina; Ramón, Sandra, Lili, Nelly, Anahí, Belén, Ángel and Carmen; Marcela and Pablo; Vivi, Ofelia, Celeste; Felipe and family; Virgilio; Bernardo and family, Hilda; Brian, Leonel, Germán, Miguel and Walter; and Camachi. Different families who did not know me hosted me in the Chaco province and in Rosario during my trips. I thank them for their hospitality; they hosted and showed us around even when we arrived unannounced and at bad timings. In Rosario: Juan and Lorena, Javier and Luisa, and María. In Chaco: Julio, Cecilio, Viyen, Luis, Ana’s family, and Cecilia. I am thankful to many more people whose names I did not record and offered me to sit and drink mate as I walked around. I am also thankful to the Tobas in the barrio Toba in Formosa with whom I worked earlier, and who were the main reason for starting this project. The enduring strength, the generalized reciprocity, and the complex forms of collaboration are some of the many things I will be always learning from you. Thank you.  In Vancouver, and at the University of British Columbia, I was honored to meet faculty and fellow students who were simultaneously intellectually sharp and challenging, personally vii  generous and supportive, and mostly a lot of fun to work with. During my last years in the program there were times I thought I would not be able to finish this project. I was able to jump through the institutional obstacles presented by the poor funding to Graduate Students in writing stage, and the little support to families and women, as well as to overcome my own struggles with writing because of the irrational amount of help I received from mentors and friends. I am particularly grateful to my supervisor Gastón Gordillo, who was part of this project even before I was “his student,” for inspiration, critical engagement, being such a sharp and generous reader, and his unconditional support. My committee members, Juanita Sundberg and Jon Beasley-Murray, were central parts of this project as well. They offered guidance, detailed commentary on several versions of this work, and constantly pushed me to go beyond any comfortable assumptions. I also thank to the generosity of Alexia Bloch, Alejandra Bronfman, Alec Dawson, Renisa Mawani, Shaylih Muhelmann and Bruce Miller, who gave me insightful feedback and guidance on key aspects of this work. I am grateful to the organizers of the 2009 AAA panel “Anthropology of Mobilities” Noel Salazar and Alan Smart, and 2012 LASA “Race in Argentina” Eduardo Elena and Paulina Alberto, these good encounters, the discussions in both spaces, helped me shape some of the central arguments of this dissertation. I also thank my friend Chisu Teresa Ko for the conversations we had in Philadelphia.  I learned enormously from my cohort of Graduate students with whom we extended discussions outside the classroom, and whose friendship, stubborn encouragement, and help to my family and myself, got me to the end of this project. For readings parts of this dissertation, for their insights and editorial aid, I am especially grateful to: Susan Hicks (your elegant voice is alive in these pages and in so many other places after your shocking departure); Marie-Eve Carrier-Moisan, Sandra Youssef, Sungsook Lim, Bonar Buffam, Sanjeev Routray, Tal Nitsan, Lainie viii  Schultz, Solen Roth, Natalie Baloy, and Natasha Damiano; and more generally to Analía Gutiérrez, Oralia Gómez Ramirez, Emily Birky, Sherrie Dilley, Larry van der Est, and Seonok Lee. A special thanks goes to Sara KomarniskyDi who commented and edited several versions of each chapter. Working as part of the teaching team in an extraordinarily stimulating group as part of the Urban Ethnographic Field School made me grow as a researcher and instructor in more ways that I had anticipated, I thank Heather Holroyd, Tom Kemple and Negar Hooshmand, and to the 2013 and 2014 cohorts of students for this. My double identity as a North American and Argentinean scholar puts me in debt with mentors, friends and colleagues in Buenos Aires, and Bariloche, with whom I have shared explorations, collaborations, time in the “field,” and, mostly, years of friendship. I am grateful to Mariana García Palacios, Patricia Dante, Alicia Avellana, Paola Cuneo, Cristina Messineo, Soledad Torres Agüero, Carlos Salamanca, Valeria Iñigo Carrera, Carolina Hetch, Lorena Cardín, Celeste Medrano, Claudia Briones, Morita Carrasco, Laura Kropff, Pilar Pérez, Walter del Río, Mariela Rodríguez, Lorena Cañuqueo, Nicolás Fernandez Bravo, Mariana Sirimarco, Brenda Canelo, Carola Goldberg, Marian D’Agostino, and the late Christian Ostrosky, and Delfina Gil Soria. I am particularly thankful to Florencia Tola who guided me part of this project, Mariana Gómez with whom we collaborated in so many ways, and to Axel Lazzari who was the external examiner and gave me insightful and challenging comments.  I thank my family of origin for their patience and support: Estela Goldschläger, Horacio and Inés Vivaldi, Florencia Ure, Clara and Nicolás Vivaldi, Octavio Frassoni, Julia, Catalina and Miguel Szejnblum, and Gabriel Szejnblum. I thank my Vancouver family Christina Moth, Silja Hund, Colin Ferster, Brandon Burke, Uri Burstyn, and Mali Bain for keeping me grounded. I thank my family of choice for being patient with my flaws enhanced by sleep deprivation and ix  doctoral stress, for their expansive love and for making me rediscover the world every second I am with them, thank you Rafa, Franka and Ramona.   x   Dedication   For Ramona, Franka and Rafa.  To the memory of Susan Hicks.        1  Introduction On May 20, 2010, four days before the massive celebration of Argentina’s bicentennial of its revolution against Spanish colonialism, I was standing in a central intersection in downtown Buenos Aires a few blocks away from the presidential palace and the meeting point for many demonstrations. I was waiting to participate in what was expected to be a historical event. For the first time since the 1940s, when a march identified as the Malón de la Paz (peaceful raid) reached Buenos Aires, there would be a rally of Indigenous People in the capital of the country. A massive contingent of indigenous representatives from different provinces and latitudes was arriving that day. 1 The capital of a country that has long presented itself as “white”, composed only of a European-descent population, would experience an irruption of Indigenous People also claiming to be part of the nation. The event had been widely announced in the media alongside some internal disputes among indigenous organizations working to take control of the event.  That day, an unprecedented number of social organizations based in Buenos Aires and the Greater Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (the city’s mostly working-class and poor periphery) had gathered to welcome the arrival of Indigenous People. The local supporters were planning to meet the Indigenous People along the route as they walked from the buses parked in a nearby highway through downtown Buenos Aires to the Plaza de Mayo, where there would be an official celebration. Inside the presidential house, the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, would hold another ceremony and would receive the indigenous leaders.  This event sought to make Indigenous People present in the celebration of the bicentennial of the nation’s creation, and to remind the government that they were nations pre-existing the                                                 1 The Malón de la Paz was a march organized by Indigenous People from the North west of the country that marched by foot to Capital to ask president Peron to intercede and get their lands back that had been expropriated by 2  Argentinian state. They wanted to make clear that this date was not a celebration for them as it marked the historic start of a new wave of state violence and land expropriation. They also wanted to make clear they were “still alive” and part of Argentina, challenging the dominant historical narratives that claimed that indigenous people had disappeared. Their presence also challenged the hegemonic view claiming that Argentina was ethnically and racially homogeneous, and composed largely of descendants of European immigrants.  However, the event was not only confrontational. The march had been supported by the government itself which had included it as part of bicentennial celebrations, and had funded the travel of hundreds of Indigenous People and their leaders from different parts of the country. Incorporating Indigenous People in the bicentenary anniversary was part of a larger effort by Cristina de Kirchner’s Peronist presidency to redefine Argentinean national identity as a multiethnic entity. This new narrative brought Argentina closer to the rest of Latin America as part of other alliances with the “new left” governments ruling much of the continent. Cristina de Kirchner had been particularly careful to use this anniversary as a re-foundational moment where “the people” would be redefined as culturally plural and racially diverse. 2 The bicentennial celebrations thus included in their program and historical narratives a number of formerly invisible minorities such as Afro argentines, Asian-argentines, and Indigenous Peoples (Adamovsky 2012a; Ko 2013).  As I stood among the local supporters waiting for the arrival of the indigenous march arriving from outside the city, I looked around. I saw flags from several unions, leftist political parties, representatives of new territorial movements, and sections of the piqueteros (the movement of                                                 2 The generic term “negros” (black) was then becoming a significant category, obtaining a new political protagonism when some public figures positively self-identified as such and claimed to be the “true” Argentineans, in contrast to European-oriented elites. This is a topic I develop in Chapter 3. 3  the unemployed). I was standing with a small group of close friends, who were all Argentinean anthropologists working with Indigenous People or immigrant populations. Yet I noticed a big absence. There were no representatives of any local indigenous organizations based in Buenos Aires, and no sign of the historic AIRA, the now almost dissolved Argentinean Indigenous Association, founded in the 1970s by urban Indigenous People living in Buenos Aires. I did not see any of the new indigenous organizations located in Greater Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires province, or the NGOs working with them. I walked around, but found no sign of the several barrios of Toba people living in Buenos Aires, one of which was the site for my year and a half of fieldwork. In sum, there was nothing to identify the presence of Indigenous People from Buenos Aires. This absence thus made a clear separation between the non-indigenous local social organizations which were waiting along the route, and the protagonists of the march we were waiting for: indigenous participants coming from other parts of the country, especially the North-west, Chaco, and Patagonia.   I knew the people in the Barrio Toba I worked in had been waiting for an invitation to attend the march. I had accompanied one of the leading figures of the barrio, Lorenzo, in a visit to the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI) a few days earlier. He had received a phone invitation from one of the INAI employees who was organizing a panel of elders living in Buenos Aires for the bicentennial celebrations. Yet, nobody contacted him again after that call. When we arrived at the INAI office, an employee who was also a long-time acquaintance of Lorenzo gave him the bad news. The activity had been cancelled and was now out of the program for the anniversary. He said that maybe they would reschedule it. Lorenzo explained he was waiting for a formal invitation to the barrio as a whole to participate in the indigenous march, and he asked if they would send a bus there. Because this barrio (as most other barrios 4  Toba) is more than two hours away from downtown Buenos Aires, and the train ticket is expensive for them, people would not be able to attend if they did not have a way to get there. The employee was evasive and said that “maybe” that would happen. That day at the INAI, we met several other indigenous leaders living in La Plata, the capital of Buenos Aires province, who were also complaining about being left out from the convoy of buses arriving from the provinces to the capital for the march. This visit to the INAI had happened a week prior to the march, and I expected that the INAI would decide at the last minute to send buses to some of these indigenous barrios and that they would invite important Indigenous People living in the city. Yet those last minute arrangements were never made. Urban Indigenous People living in the cities of Buenos Aires and La Plata were not invited and were not part of the crowd that marched on that day. After a long wait, we finally saw a huge group of people advancing in a very organized manner, covering the complete width of 9 de Julio Avenue. The front of the march was composed of indigenous leaders, most of them wearing colourful and “traditional” clothing, including headbands. They were holding their arms together in a strong embrace creating a solid front that advanced at the same pace. Behind them, there was a huge block of people dressed in brown wool ponchos carrying colourful indigenous flags that contrasted with the European architecture of the buildings around them. There was an air of excitement among all the groups waiting around us. Some of the Indigenous People at the front of the march started singing, unpacked erkes (musical instrument from the Andean region), flutes and bombos (drums) and started playing lively carnival songs, while some others started dancing, making their ponchos fly in harmony.  The waiting local supporters replied by banging their drums with enthusiasm. Many of the 5  supporters took their cellphones and cameras out and started to take pictures, 3 others clapped, cheered, and pushed to stay close to their “indigenous brothers” (as some of the signs claimed, with no mention to “sisters”).  All of these people moving along the streets meant that the whole area was closed to traffic. The march was creating massive traffic jams downtown on a workday. Yet despite this, and in contrast to what tends to be the response to road blockades by the unemployed, this march was met with an enthusiastic welcome by porteños, the “average” middle class inhabitants of the city. 4 As the march advanced through Diagonal Norte, an avenue traversing the financial district of Buenos Aires, a new scene surprised us. From the windows of tall office buildings, office workers were throwing small papers in a welcoming gesture. With half of their bodies extended out of the windows, they clapped and cheered with enthusiasm. This “average office clerk” in the financial district regularly appears in the news complaining about demonstrations in downtown Buenos Aires and blaming the Piqueteros for stopping traffic, for being “lazy” and depending on government monies. That day, however, they were cheering and welcoming. Moreover, members of traditional leftist parties, many of whom have criticized the indigenous movement for creating “factions” within the pueblo (people) and the more traditional middle class parties, had showed up to express their support.                                                  3 Among the indigenous leaders I recognized Milagros Sala, the leader of the organization Tupac Amaru and organizer of the march. Her position was particular as she was relatively new in the indigenous movement, she was well known for being the leader of a “territorial” movement in the Northwest that had been active in developing housing projects. She managed funding from the government and was in support to the Kirchner presidencies.  4 As the indigenous group advanced there were new groups joining in: with their legitimizing presence, the mothers of Plaza de Mayo appeared marching together with the Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel. There was also an unexpected presence, as I saw multiple numbers of small groups of four or five people carrying signs saying “Bienvenidos pueblos originarios” (Welcome first peoples). They looked like average porteños, dressed fashionably and using new cellphones to record the event. They were different than the usual supporters of indigenous movement who are more informally dressed. These trendier porteños were very likely the viewers of a TV show on national broadcasting network that joins progressive, left leaning journalists who make a daily review of the news and are in open support of the government. 6  After some time, we finally made it to the Plaza de Mayo where a small political rally was organized. From the stage, a man welcomed the Indigenous People arriving “after a long trip,” and arriving in Buenos Aires “for the first time.” Milagros Sala, the main organizer of the march, took to the stage along with journalist Sandra Russo (who worked for the public television network and as Sala’s biographer) and the ceremony officially started. When Sala took the microphone she was crying. She said, “the plaza is full of people who think and feel like us.” Then it was Russo’s turn, who read a “welcoming message” and referred to the task of “rethinking who we are as Argentinean.” Recognizing Indigenous People, she said, was “as an internal debt with ourselves, to recover our honour and dignity.” In a re-foundational tone that would recur throughout the bicentennial celebrations, she finished by saying: “We do not only welcome you to the city, we welcome you to a new country, in which you are no longer exotic, but wise.”5  While I was touched by the joyful nature of this political event that finally made Indigenous People visible in a city that has long imagined itself as European, I also felt uneasy about it. The remarks by Russo about “us” (from a white urban intellectual) welcoming “them” (the colourful Indigenous Peoples coming from far away) implied that “we” were the ones deciding who could fit or not in the Argentinean nation. The “we” was explicitly “inviting” these others to join in, as a concession and not as the recognition of a right. I was also troubled by the fact that none of the Indigenous People living in Buenos Aires or La Plata were there, something that was                                                 5 There was a parallel meeting taking place inside the presidential house. Indigenous leaders took a petition to the president and Cristina de Kirchner welcomed them with a speech congratulating Indigenous People for “feeding the national popular identity”, and explicitly put a limit to recognition when she asked them to “to stop trying to monopolize suffering,” “people who came from Europe also suffered.” The petition indigenous leaders handed to her was likewise ambivalent emphasising a need to take care of nature and have a  “plurinational” state, but ignoring serious and ongoing conflicts over land. The leaders of the march and the government were producing a specific indigeneity, one that considers Indigenous People as part of a popular sector. Yet conflictive aspects of indigeneity were explicitly washed out.  7  reproducing the classification that locates Indigenous People as not belonging in the city and made them visitors coming from far away rural areas of the country. Finally, during this event there was no recognition of the fact that Buenos Aires is also built on land expropriated from Indigenous People in the 1500s, when the city was founded by Spanish conquistadores (conquerors). This march thus recreated the idea that the city is a white space, that Indigenous People are intrinsically rural and come from the provinces, and that they become visible as long as they dress, sing, and dance in an “authentic” way. The authenticity of the march was implicitly defined by local and transnational imaginaries about indigeneity as something rural, colourful, and musical. This is something that has been noted by many scholars: that only if these expectations about authenticity are met, Indigenous People are recognized by the state and by non-indigenous citizens as recipients of special rights and as rightful participants in a transnational multiculturalism (Hale 2005, Muehlmann 2013, Povinelli 2002).  I begin this dissertation with a description of this march in May 2010 in order to introduce some of the themes and tensions that defined my fieldwork among urban Toba people living in the Greater Buenos Aires area. This is a city that the Argentinean elites imagined as modern, white and European, but it never was and never became this. If that indigenous march generated such strong emotions and was experienced as something novel and exotic, it was because in Buenos Aires Indigenous People are considered to be out of place (Deloria 2004). Instead, I understand the city as shaped by the meeting up of multiple trajectories, including the presence of Indigenous Peoples preceding the foundation of the city, Afro populations brought as slaves, immigrants from Latin American countries, and migrants from Asia and Middle east, among others. The dominant project of a white Argentina has attempted to both erase and divide diversity along class and racial lines. But with the creation of villas miseria (shantytowns) and 8  also in moments like this march, the meeting up of these diverse trajectories in space has overflown both the making of Buenos Aires as white and the segregation of non whites to the outside.  In this dissertation, I examine the spatiality an indigenous group living in the city of Buenos Aires produces. In particular, I analyze the places that are created through urban Toba movements connecting and disconnecting multiple locations within the city and beyond it, particularly in the Gran Chaco region to the north of the country. My research starts in an “indigenous” barrio that a group of Toba people created in Greater Buenos Aires in 1995, and traces the trajectories that took them from different villages in the Chaco, to other villages and urban barrios in and outside the Chaco, and, finally, to the villas (shantytowns) in Buenos Aires. In addition to these movements of the past (which I have traced through people’s memories), I follow the relations that take people from the Barrio Toba to the city centre and middle class barrios, and the ways they connect “back” to the Chaco. I finish this dissertation considering how all these places are brought together as part of complex networks.  The march for the bicentennial of Argentina’s independence was significant in a multiplicity of dimensions. It was part of the efforts to transform the way Argentinean national identity is defined, from a nation of European immigrants to a multicultural nation that includes non European “ethnic” groups. But the march also reinforced an organization of space in which Buenos Aires as a white city now accepted and welcomed a mass of dark-skinned bodies presenting themselves as indigenous. However, the white city accepted the march only as visitors and because these non-white bodies were clearly recognized as authentically indigenous. From the urban middle class perspective, this event did not question who are the locals and who are the “guests” to the city. This is clear in that the urban Indigenous People from the Toba barrio I 9  worked in were not invited to participate. Yet this event cannot be solely understood as a struggle over representation. The celebration of Indigenous People who travel from the provinces and their entrance in the city centre, alongside the absence of urban Indigenous People living in Buenos Aires, needs to be understood from a spatial perspective that analyzes how power relations shape the production of space in Buenos Aires.  This dissertation, in short, studies the spatiality of power. It takes as a starting point Lefebvre’s idea that the production of place is not just another social action but central in the production and reproduction of social relations and inequalities within specific social formations (1991). In my work I trace the production of a spatiality that emerges from everyday practices, relations, and forms of mobility. The arrangement of people over place, and the regulations of their movement, is a key aspect in the distinction between populations who are the “right” inhabitants of the city and the racialized “others” that are poor, imagined as coming from the outside of the city and living in the ubiquitous villas (Ratier 1971, 1972). Foucault has argued that biopower is one form of regulation through which the state determines who deserves state care, and who are those that are “outside” and can be “let to die,” (1988). Theo Goldberg has linked Foucault’s ideas with a spatial analysis to examine how urban space is racialized. He has shown that a population whose life is fostered is separated from those “let to die” who are seen as a source of contamination and a threat to the health of those whose life matters (1993). His analysis developed in relation to North American cities can be extended to the distinctions between the proper city and informal city constituted by the neighbourhoods and villas (shantytowns) in Argentina. And yet in the everyday the city “proper” and the villas are linked together in multiple ways, villas provide labour, but also a prolific cultural productivity as the music generated from the villas is dispersed throughout the city (Fischer 2014). Mobility and the 10  inevitable sharing of the space of the city thus makes Buenos Aires and the villas into places of encounter and results in the emergence of a conviviality that the Toba were part of.  I therefore examine how the first home of Toba people in the city, upon arriving from their homes villages in the Chaco, was the villas miseria. In these shantytowns, they were spatially “thrown together” with other subaltern groups of migrants and the unemployed working class. For this reason, the villas are seen as the generic location of the urban poor. For some time, the ethnic, political, and subjective identification of these new migrants as “Toba” was not significant for them. Yet in the 1990s a group of families decided to leave the shantytowns and created a neighbourhood in a district in the Northwest of Greater Buenos Aires that was marked as “Barrio Toba” and therefore as an indigenous place in the city. This barrio was among the first of the now over ten Barrios Toba in Buenos Aires (Cristina Messineo noted that there were eight Barrios Toba in Greater Buenos Aires in 2003, but since then at least two more were created).  In this dissertation, I examine not only the history and experiences associated with the making of this indigenous place in Buenos Aires, but also the key role played by mobility in this process. In particular, I analyze the way trajectories of mobility produce places in ways that exceed forms of regulation and the limitation of material conditions to move. I examine space as a product of the simultaneous entanglement of mobilities and trajectories (of people, ideas, and objects) that is inevitably a multiplicity, and thus cannot be restricted to a set of regulatory relations or to a set of practices of resistance. Instead, the multiplicity of space implies the constitution of new forms of relation as always happening in space (Massey 2005; Moore 2005). In this way, the main question I explore is: what type of spatiality does the movement by Toba people generate in regard to the regulations of their mobility as they connect and disconnect places? This question led me to extend my fieldwork from the Barrio Toba to the multiple other places that Toba 11  people interconnected through their location and patterns of mobility: the city centre, middle class barrios, the villas, and the different villages and towns in the province of Chaco that these people keep connections with. From these movements, the people living in the Barrio Toba have produced a subaltern spatiality that, while seeking to navigate adverse material conditions is neither an alternative to dominant spatial regulations, nor a mechanical product of relations of spatial segregation.  The dissertation explores the constitution of this urban indigenous experience through three central themes: 1) the tensions created in the making of urban and racialized indigenous subjectivities, 2) the production of places through intersecting movements and the entanglement of spatial trajectories and 3) the making of a subaltern spatiality that extends by incorporating heterogeneous elements and combining dominant relations (rather than by developing a spatial “outside” to power). I trace the trajectories of people now living in the barrio Toba through time as a point from which to examine the making of a subaltern spatiality that connects the city and the countryside, the city centre and its periphery, and dominant and subaltern practices into complex networks that undermine the hegemonic idea of Buenos Aires as a European city.  Urban and Racialized Indigeneities The Barrio Toba where I worked is home to about 250 people and is one of the few places that self-identifies as “indigenous” in the urban periphery of Buenos Aires. It was created in the 1990s by people who were already living in the city for many years, but who began migrating from the Chaco in previous decades. Around 12 other Barrios Tobas exist in Greater Buenos Aires (see Messineo 2003; Messineo et al 2007; Hetch 2010), and in the periphery of the city of La Plata (Tamagno 2001). However, most Indigenous People living in Buenos Aires are spread 12  out across the city and live among non-Indigenous People. The Toba are thus the only indigenous group to have barrios of their own in this city.  The Toba or Qom are one the largest indigenous groups originally from the Gran Chaco region in northern Argentina. The Toba call themselves Qom, which means “people” in Toba language or Qom l’aqtaqa, but for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries they have also called themselves and been known as “Toba” (which is a name of Guaraní origin that was adopted by the larger Argentinean society). While some Toba leaders have recently advocated the use of Qom as their “real” ethnic name, during my fieldwork most people referred to themselves as “Toba” and felt comfortable with the term. For this reason, I use the term “Toba” throughout this dissertation. It alludes to a multiplicity of groups that share local variations of the same language and were largely located in the central and eastern areas of the Gran Chaco at the time when the Argentinean military conquered the region between the 1880s and the 1920.  In the Chaco, most Toba people defined their indigeneity through markers such as experience of struggle for legal title to their former territories, the re-creation of communities who self-identify as Toba, speaking the Toba language, recreating cultural practices and knowledge, and re-creating relations with the forest, rivers, and lagoons by fishing, collecting fruits and fibers, and hunting (see Tola 2012 for a deep analysis of Toba production of knowledge). In Buenos Aires, however, these forms of rural socialization were no longer possible and the very meaning of Toba indigeneity was profoundly transformed. My analysis draws, in this regard, from the literature that has analyzed indigeneity not as a fixed or self-contained positioning but as open-ended, contested, and historically and spatially contingent process, in which the very meaning of what “being indigenous” is or, in this case, “Toba” varies enormously (i.e. Briones 2005; Cadena de la and Starn 2007; Gordillo and Hirsch 2010; Li 2000).  13  While most people I worked with self-identified as “Toba,” their experience in the villas upon arriving in Buenos Aires for the first time brought them in close contact with the urban poor, usually racialized by the middle-classes of European background as “negros” (blacks). The impact of this racialization on the Toba’s perception of themselves is the subject of chapter 2. I examine how this urban indigeneity became a force in the creation of a barrio Toba, emerging from the experience in the villas and from encounters with people from the middle class who viewed them as an “authentic Indigenous People,” especially as they recognized their rural past and habits in the Chaco as indisputable markers of indigeneity. The significance I found in these encounters was not just the development of an identity that fits in the “tribal slot,” as the Toba are always-already recognized in Buenos Aires as authentically indigenous. Rather, these encounters are part of myriad reticular and heterogeneous connections that produce their subsistence, their access to institutions, and ways of working together to solve everyday problems.  The indigeneity that people of Toba background have created in the city is thus spatially specific, different from the one created by Toba living in the Chaco, and different from the one created by other indigenous groups in Buenos Aires. Yet, this urban indigeneity has points in common with other forms of urban indigeneity in Buenos Aires and across the Americas (Briones 2007; Gordillo 2011; Lobos and Peters 2001; Ramirez 2007; Wilson and Peters 2005). All of these groups share the fundamental problem of having to legitimize their indigeneity against dominant ideas about how being “urban” and “indigenous” are contradictory terms because Indigenous People are still assumed to be premodern and rural. As in other cases, in moving to the city, the Toba were seen as part of a generic, dark-skinned urban poor. With this in mind, in the discussion about the movement away from the villas, or in the collaborations with 14  the middle class, I will examine indigeneity not only in the specificity of the barrio but also in the way it becomes an extensive spatiality that connects people to other groups and other places.   Places as Entanglements, Space as Multiplicity I analyze the spatiality of the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires and the trajectories that have created it by drawing on authors such as Doreen Massey (2005), Donald Moore (2005), Gastón Gordillo (2004), and Anna Tsing (2005) who have emphasized that places are produced through sedimented entanglements, in their tensions to other places, and through the movements traversing them. Massey defines places as a product of intersecting trajectories and encounters, and also the result of “the non-meeting ups, the disconnections and the relations not established, the exclusions” (130: 2005). For the Toba people I worked with, the city emerged both as a place of new and unexpected encounters, for instance, with the urban poor in shantytowns and subsequently with middle-class people interested in them as “authentic Indigenous People.” Encounters were thus moments of creative construction of places and a sphere of multiplicity, for in these encounters with other actors multiple relations unfolded at the same time. Also Tobas connected with other people’s trajectories taking place simultaneously. But if places result from trajectories and movements they also result from relations ongoing elsewhere and from other dynamics and socio-spatial arrangements. And these spatialities exist simultaneously, which implies that space is always a multiplicity, of relations, arrangements, transformations, and temporal events.  Because space is a multiplicity that is impossible to fully control or to subject, there is always an escape, and relations left out. Multiplicity is for Massey the sphere of political transformation for it is in space that multiple forms of the social unfold, at the same time creating alternative 15  trajectories and potentially different futures (2005: 91). Massey claims, “We understand space as the sphere of the possibility of the existence of multiplicity in the sense of contemporaneous plurality; as the sphere in which distinct trajectories coexist; as the sphere of therefore coexisting heterogeneity” (2005: 11). Space is a multiplicity then not just because multiple simultaneous relations shape different spatialities in one place (for example the villas as places of exclusion, as places of solidarities, and as places of mutual affectations) but also because multiple relations connect several places at the same time and may put disparate trajectories in connection to one and other. Thus, as I will illustrate, the Barrio Toba is a place that is connected to other Toba villages and places in the Chaco but also to a number of evangelical organizations in Buenos Aires through the Toba evangelical church. My analysis of these multiple spatial connections also draws from Bruno Latour’s work on networks, associations, and assemblages. Latour views networks as chains of associations that include individuals as well as objects, and in this dissertation I examine how the connections that Toba people create through their mobility involve moving not only their own bodies but also objects such as handicrafts and packages with second-hand clothing, and coordinated through cellphone texting. Like Latour, I am interested in these non-human elements that enable movement. These translocal connections play an important role in shaping how places as part of larger heterogeneous spatialities are made.  In order to account for the spatial multiplicities and networks created by these Toba families, I also draw from authors who have highlighted the importance of the movement of people, objects, information or ideas in the making of places (Cresswell 2006; Deleuze 1992; Massey 2005; Moore 2005, Salazar and Smart 2011; Tsing 2005; Urry 2007; Urry and Sheller 2006; Virilio 1986). I understand places not as opposed to but as resulting from mobilities. By mobilities I 16  mean the material organization of movement and the dispositions for moving, but also the emergent lines of escape that detach and evade given forms of subordination (Deleuze 1992; Grossberg 1992; Urry 2007; Salazar and Smart 2011).6 By trajectories I mean the result of a particular movement unfolding in specific time and place, and the specific path created by a specific series of travels across space (Massey 2005). Movement, in sum, unfolds both as a result of reticular forms of power that regulated the different indigenous groups in the Chaco region as subaltern; and the movements of the Toba who internalized, escaped, and followed, these lines while also trying to escape or deflect them. When I analyze trajectories, I discuss the intensities driving movement and redirecting it. I also take into account the winding and back-and-forth lines traced by the movement of people in particular, and also of objects and information.  Subaltern Spatialities and Assemblages  I use the notion of subalternity as a category from which to understand the experience of Tobas within larger collectives that have suffered forms of spatial segregation, economic exploitation, and racialized forms of marginalization. Their experience in the city began and is still related to the villas, to other working-class barrios in the Conurbano that surround them, and consequently is part of the subaltern experience of the urban poor in Buenos Aires. The experience of encountering a multiplicity of other class-based trajectories in the city and the conviviality that emerged from these encounters justifies framing the experience of these Toba families not only through the lens of indigeneity but also that of subalternity. The Indian subaltern collective that popularized the term defines “the subaltern” as a type of                                                 6 Mobilities is always paired with immobilities, (Salazar and Smart 2011) a term I do not to use given I prefer to focus on the frictions, variations in speeds of movement or impasse (Tsing 2005; Virilio 1986).  17  subjectivity that results from a colonial situation. The subaltern is not only politically subordinated or economically expropriated in class terms, but is also in a position of relative exteriority in relation to law, rights, and formal employment (Guha 1983 and 1988; Rodríguez 2001). Unlike concepts such as “working class,” “the people,” “women,” or “the poor,” subalternity does not fix the experience of people to one process or one line of inequality alone. On the contrary, it allows for a consideration of the conditions of subordination and the forms of collective action that emerge from it. It is particularly relevant in post colonial contexts where large sectors of the population have historically and systematically been left outside of what is considered the civil society and is regulated by law. These include, for example, poor peasants with no land, and urban populations inhabiting slums. In the 1990s, scholars working in Latin America drew on this concept to study Latin America from a critical perspective (Rodríguez 2001; Beverly 2001). While they challenged universalizing notions such as the validity of class for understanding peasant experiences, they focused on the generic disruptive force of subaltern politics, by doing literary or media analysis and focusing on how the subaltern overflows any field of formal politics (see Rodríguez 2001; Beverly 2001; Williams 2001). In my use of the notion of subaltern, I draw from Guha’s examination of subaltern territorialities, which he analyzes through the role of everyday forms of connection through practices such as gossip, food sharing, kinship networks, and reciprocity between neighbours. For this reason, I write about subaltern spatialities that are not only indigenous but also include people in the villas, neighbours who live around the barrio Toba, schools, bus terminals, the transnational evangelical church, among others. I turn territoriality into a question of spatialities to pivot a focus over sovereignty into a discussion about how space is also a political means.  The positions of subalternity for the Toba living in the city are defined by factors such as their 18  racialization (that restricts their possibilities within and outside institutions) and criminalization, the fact that they are only able to access informal or temporary work (as construction workers, doing maintenance jobs, working as a gardener), and that they have restricted access to basic state services such as healthcare. Children have to go through an educational system that is not prepared to accommodate the fact that their first language is not Spanish. Most teenagers drop out of school. Many people in the barrio do not have a National ID cards which is a basic document for accessing to public health, applying for state economic assistance, enrolling children in school, and for voting (among other citizen rights). This dissertation examines the trajectories and the spatiality produced by this indigenous experience of subalternity, by looking at how movement is possible, what type of connection movement generates and what type of coordinated activities emerge across space. I employ the term of subalternity, in sum, as something that encompasses indigeneity yet also transcends it.7  In this dissertation, I use the notion of assemblage to further describe this subaltern spatiality because this term highlights both the heterogeneity of the connections created by social actors and the fact that the latter bring together, and assemble, relations and objects originally coming from different places. In particular, I highlight the way in which many of the connections that are constantly re-created do so along the lines of family relations that link together places defined as “Toba.” Therefore, while I want to highlight the multiplicity of lines through which assemblages, for example, distribute resources, I also emphasize that Toba locations are linked to each other. Assemblages, according to Deleuze and Guattari (1987), connect heterogeneity of elements. This                                                 7 Under a similar logic Gago analyzes the assemblage of heterogeneous regimes of labour and the spatiality over which they extend among Bolivian immigrants in Buenos Aires she finds that an inside / outside dominant economy is not enough. She claims that: “El espacio del taller textil se enlaza con la feria y con la villa. Hay en este entramado una producción de espacio especifica. Una zona. Que organiza una economía que la excede, y al mismo tiempo que la sostiene como lugar excepcional.” (Gago 2014: 135) 19  heterogeneity includes, people, actions and the relations they produce: relations between people and things such as a built environment or a forest. According to these authors, elements are extracted from their former “function” and put into new uses within the assemblage. As we shall see, Toba people from the barrio create assemblages that distribute packages to relatives living in the Chaco, solve problems for people in one place by moving resources from other places, and in some cases create relative control over different places at the same time. Assemblages, thus, produce a new activity that is not contained in one element alone but emerges from the multiple connections between different places.  Therefore, assemblage allows us to think, on the one hand, about the contingent and changing associations of people and space in their translocal connections. On the other hand, it also allows us to think of space not only as a result of relations of subjection shaped by forms of governmentality (that regulate relations between people, and between people and things), but also by putting elements from those relations into unexpected new functions. Assemblages, finally, allow us to understand the mobilities of people and objects and news and ideas under a broader perspective. The assemblages Toba people create bring together places, mobility, and spatial multiplicities with the making of indigenous subjectivities. He concept of assemblage thus allows us to think about the forms of regulation that shape them as subjects and the unpredictable encounters and affective transformations that produce unexpected variations and transformations.   Methodology and Fieldwork Because of my interest in the multiplicity of spatial relations that people weave through mobility, my fieldwork was highly mobile and involved a multiplicity of places. My research extended 20  over 18 months between early March of 2009 and late August of 2010. Most of my fieldwork took place in the Barrio Toba in the Sauces district, which is a pseudonym I use to protect the confidentiality of the dynamics I analyze, and is located to the Northwest of Greater Buenos Aires. While I lived downtown, I visited the barrio several times a week. I also walked with people to do groceries, and took the bus, train, and subway with them as they moved through the city. I commuted with people from the barrio to downtown Buenos Aires, went with them to government offices in the city, and attended the workshops they delivered in middle-class schools. I also accompanied people to musical performances for non-indigenous audiences. Additionally, I followed some of the non-indigenous activists working with the barrio, I observed the work of one NGO in and outside the barrio, and I participated in the activities of a self-organized group of university students. I interviewed government employees from different levels who were working with the barrio, including workers from the municipality and employees at the INAI, who gave me an overview of the relationship with and their perspective about the barrio and the ways indigenous legislation was being implemented. These trajectories took me to the offices of government institutions and NGOs, and to the homes of middle-class people who were “helping” the barrio.  21  . Figure 1: Main Fieldwork locations. Map data © 2015 Google I also did fieldwork in several places outside of Buenos Aires where some of the Toba people I worked with came from and where they were travelling to and from. During my travels, I visited two Toba barrios in the city of Rosario to attend a wedding. In the Chaco, all of my travels took me to the central area of the province of Chaco around the city of Castelli: a town that has some of the oldest Toba urban barrios in the area, and which since the 1940s became the meeting place for Indigenous People hired to work on cotton farms. I also visited the small town of Espinillo and the town of Bermejito, which has become a regional tourist attraction because of its proximity to the beaches of the Bermejito river. I also visited a rural farm in the area of Bermejito and did fieldwork in the Toba barrio in the city of Saenz Peña to attend a religious meeting that attracted many families from Buenos Aires.  This fieldwork in rural areas involved walking through trails in the bush, biking, and crossing a river on a boat. These trajectories in my fieldwork were not straight, effortless, abstract lines 22  through which objects and people “flowed”; but rather movements of bodies that in some cases involved navigating rugged terrain, such as the roughness of dirt trails and crossing rivers with no bridges. Movement in all cases implied advancing against the frictions of natural and social terrain, and, thus, implied effort. Connections, in short, imply movement. I made short and long travels alongside people I met during fieldwork in order to record how difficult and pleasurable it was to move, what people talked about and reflected on as we moved, and how people found their way as we moved (Ingold 2011).     Figure 2: Biking towards the river in the rural area around Bermejito. Photo by the author. Finally, I also visited one of the villas in Buenos Aires where some families lived prior to forming the Barrio Toba. Specifically, I visited a young woman who decided to stay there when the barrio was created. Yet, revealing that spatial trajectories may disconnect people from previous locations, I had to be very persistent to be able to visit this place, and only in the last months of my fieldwork I was able to visit Fuerte Apache: a well-known and negatively perceived villa in Buenos Aires.  23  The multisited nature of this project emerged from the fact that people’s actions in one place were always taking me to others, and not only because this group has moved away from the place where they were born. In sum, my attempt was to reassemble the social relations shaping people’s experience of space in Buenos Aires and beyond, and to map, rather than to recreate, their experience linking the Chaco and this barrio. The type of indigeneity the Toba have created in the city is thus specific, different from the one created by Tobas living in the Chaco, and different from the one created by other indigenous groups in Buenos Aires. And, yet, this urban indigeneity has points in common with other forms of urban indigeneity in Buenos Aires and also across the Americas that have only recently begun to be discussed (Briones 2007; Cadena de la 2000; Gordillo 2011; Lawrence 2004; Lobos and Peters 2001; Ramirez 2007). All of these groups share the fundamental problem of having to legitimize their indigeneity against dominant ideas that “urban” and “indigenous” are contradictory terms because indigenous are still linked with the premodern and the rural. As in other cases, because of moving to the city, the Toba were no longer seen by others as indigenous and rather were seen as part of the larger collective of racialized urban poor (see Cadena de la 2000).   Before engaging in this research I had undertaken work with Toba people in both urban and rural areas in the Chaco region, particularly in the province of Formosa. In the Chaco some of the people I worked with frequently spoke about the barrios Toba in Greater Buenos Aires and I was very intrigued by their descriptions. Because of my interest in the social production of space, the statements of Tobas in Formosa claiming that these barrios “were just like the ones in Chaco” puzzled me. I was also interested in following the translocal spatiality that Toba people created 24  in these connections. Further, the Toba, unlike other indigenous groups from the Chaco, had been able to create barrios in the cities of Rosario, Santa Fe, La Plata, and Buenos Aires, which are outside of the Chaco region. All other Indigenous People living in Buenos Aires lived scattered amid non-indigenous neighbours and did not build their own barrios.  My initial research proposal planned to focus only on the Barrio Toba in Sauces and to trace the movements connecting them to other barrios Tobas and rural villages. Early in my work I found I needed to understand the location in Buenos Aires and their experience there in much more detail than I had planned. For instance, the life in the villas was at the same time silenced but also appeared as a central aspect shaping the experiences of the families I met in terms of friendships, access to work, as well as the tensions around being racialized in the city space. These experiences in the villas, the fact that people did not visit the Chaco “just” to reconnect with a past way of life but also to create complex forms of collaboration, and the centrality of relations with people from the middle class forced me to include these relations to understand the spatiality they create.  While I conducted interviews that were highly enlightening about people’s experiences, in my attempts to understand what people care about and the specific perspectives they had it soon became clear that participant observation and travelling with them would be crucial parts of my fieldwork. Interviews, in this regard, often elicited short and vague responses. For instance, people replied to my questions about comparing “life in the city” and “life in the villages in the Chaco” with very short statements, for instance that they missed the “quiet” of the Chaco. Only by moving with people between different places, talking as we moved, and spending hours sitting down talking about different topics was I able to reconstruct how people experienced different places, what they enjoyed and missed and what they regretted. After an initial set of 25  interviews about the histories of migration I reoriented all my interviews and just asked people to narrate their life experiences to me. In some cases those narratives started with their grandparents’ stories and in others with the arrival to Buenos Aires when people were already adults. In all cases, these more informal conversations gave me a much better idea about their priorities, their spatial experiences, the way they had experienced different socio-economical, political, and historical processes. These stories hardly followed a linear chronology, but were always spatialized as people remembered very clearly where a particular event had happened. My fieldwork also involved collaborating with people of the barrio and doing activities there. For instance, I organized a workshop with youth and helped a Toba man to organize a language workshop for the general public at the University of Buenos Aires. I did several of these activities with anthropologists, linguists and ethnohistorians, as it became more productive to work together rather than as isolated and parallel researchers. I found that working with other people made more sense for the people in the barrio too, for they felt less worried about my safety, and less responsible for constantly “entertaining” me when I was travelling with them. Working with these colleagues generally located me in collectives that linked me to academic genealogies, and thus there was never a lone project were I detached myself from my previous setting to immerse myself in a new social world. My relations with other Toba people in Formosa also gave me an entry point. Therefore, instead of making a self-reflection about my own individual position in the field, I chose to locate myself within larger collective subjectivities as always already part of the situations I analyze.  As a middle class Argentinean, as well as a North American-based anthropologist, I share with most of my colleagues in both settings an interest in working with Indigenous People in their everyday and political struggles. This included helping Toba people out with everyday 26  procedures such as filling paperwork with them, going with them to a doctor’s appointment, and working with them to denounce police abuse. In this dissertation, I do not discuss at length topics such as these people’s systematic exclusion from state services, land dispossession and the state repression of struggles for the land. Instead, I will consider how these processes shape everyday spatialities and everyday spatial practices.   Structure of the Chapters  In chapter 1, “Making a Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires: Space and the Politics of Recognition,” I present the Toba neighbourhood in Buenos Aires and the spatial trajectories that constitute it. I explore why the neighbourhood is produced by its inhabitants as a more suitable place to live than elsewhere.  I describe: a) the location of the barrio and its main social features and spatial layout b) the activities of the families composing the barrio, and c) the chronology of the creation of the neighbourhood. I also discuss my general take on space as the result of trajectories in friction with one and other.  In chapter 2, “Ending up in Buenos Aires: Mobilities around the Chaco and the Trajectories to the City,” I analyze the migration of the Toba from the Chaco to Buenos Aires as a complex and non-linear series of travels shaped by gendered forms of the mobility. I follow the trajectories that took people to Buenos Aires and propose some “typologies” of this experience: men looking for a partner and “strong” women sent to expand their family’s networks. In particular, I argue that these movements are profoundly affective and marked by emotionally-charged personal experiences, and argue that rather than a planned migration people describe their movement to the city as a set of conjunctural forces and circumstances that made them “end up” in Buenos Aires. 27  In chapter 3, “The Villas: The Spatiality of Race in Buenos Aires”, I turn to the Toba experience in the shantytowns. As they settled in the villas the Toba families lived next to the racialized collective of migrants, historically categorized by middle-class residents as “villeros” (shanty town dwellers), and “negros” (black). The chapter discusses: a) the Toba’s experience in the shantytowns, which they described as unbearable but also exciting because of their connections with Peronism and “villero social movement”), b) the rejection by some Toba of the idea of being “villeros” and c) the experience of young people who, in contrast, decided to stay in the villas. This chapter considers the tensions created by the spatial racialization of Toba bodies in Buenos Aires.  Chapter 4, “Meet the Indians: Middle Class Humanitarianism,” considers one of the main features of the neighbourhood today: the constant visits by people from the urban middle-class interested in “getting to know the indigenous culture,” in helping them to move away from poverty, and “in solidarity” with their struggles. The chapter explores the significance of the barrio as a place of encounters, the cultural productivity of these encounters, as well as the way this place is exoticized by urban Argentines who are attracted to it in search of “real Toba Indians.”  In chapter 5, “Subaltern Assemblages,” I explore the networks that Toba families create through their movements connecting multiple places. I focus on: a) the circulation of handicrafts and donations, b) the spatial connections people make through the Toba church, and c) the expansions of Toba families in place. I analyze these networks as assemblages of people, places, and objects that generate new activities through those spatial and material connections.   After the indigenous march for Argentina’s bicentennial in May 2010, I asked the people in 28  the barrio if they considered going there and participating. They replied that, aside from the fact that they had not been invited, they had been too busy to go. Many of them said they had to wake up early the next day to do a workshop on “Toba culture” or send their children to school. In other words, it was not simply that they were excluded from highly visible political events such as the march, but they were constrained by the type of everyday relations and commitments that connected the barrio to other places in the city and kept them busy. The entanglement of relations that creates the barrio as a distinct place is the subject of the next chapter.   29  Chapter 1: Making a Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires: Space and the Politics of Recognition  To the Barrio Toba: Movement and Space  One Saturday morning during the winter of 2009 I was on my way to visit a Barrio Toba located to the Northwest of the Greater Buenos Aires Area (also known as Conurbano) for the first time. This barrio is an unusual place in Buenos Aires, an indigenous location in a city that is regarded as void of Indigenous People. Up until that day all of my encounters with indigenous Toba families had been in the Chaco region, where their “traditional territories” are located. 8 Miguel, a man in his sixties who I met in a performance in downtown Buenos Aires where he was playing the nvike (Toba violin), had invited me to visit the barrio, introduce me to some families, and show me around. He gave me precise directions: take the subway to the train station, take the train to the district of Sauces, 9 get off and take the bus to the barrio, a total of 2 and a half hours.  I start this chapter by describing my first trip from downtown Buenos Aires or the Capital, where I lived during my fieldwork, to the Barrio Toba in the Greater Buenos Aires (the periphery of the city) where I focused most of my ethnographic work. From now on when I refer to the Barrio or Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires, unless specified otherwise, I mean this barrio in the Sauces district where I undertook most of my work. On my first trip I transversed the city and transitioned into the suburbs. It was therefore a trip across the relations that made those places different: an affluent and middle class city centre, a periphery that grows poorer with distance from the centre, and with exclusive gated communities. This trip was the first moment of                                                 8 “Traditional” territories is a relative concept given their historical locations is a complex result of seasonal displacement, interethnic conflicts and ongoing waves of colonization and agroindustry expansion. For a historical spatial analysis of the central Chaco area see Salamanca 2015. 9 I use a pseudonym for the district in order to protect the confidentiality of people I worked with.  30  locating the barrio within the city and the Conurbano, and it directs me to the central question in this chapter: how was this barrio created as an indigenous location in the city of Buenos Aires? As I start to unravel what produces the barrio as a place, I discuss the perspective on space that I develop in the rest of this work.  To get to the barrio for the first time, a trip I often repeated during my fieldwork, I took the train at Retiro’s central station. When the train started moving, we quickly moved through the city of Buenos Aires, while vendors took turns selling their products walking down the aisle of the carriage. The train crossed the General Paz Highway 20 minutes later. This Highway divides Buenos Aires from the ring-shaped districts in the province of Buenos Aires that surround the city. 10 Together Buenos Aires city or the Capital and the Conurbano make up an extended, uninterrupted urban space with a population of 13 million people: a third of the total population of the country (INDEC 2011). This makes the urban mass of Buenos Aires the second biggest city in South America after Sao Paulo.  Unlike in many North American cities, in Buenos Aires suburbs are not suburbia. Except for some clusters of middle class neighbourhoods and affluent gated communities, the Conurbano is mostly a space for the working class and the poor. The Conurbano is also a place of great diversity that grew out of several waves of internal and international migration starting in the 1940s, including that of self-identified Indigenous People from 12 different indigenous groups. According to one survey 14,500 Toba people live in Buenos Aires City and Greater Buenos Aires. Together the Conurbano and Buenos Aires city host 248,500 self identified Indigenous                                                 10 While a highway divides the two jurisdictions, the city extends without radical division, creating one of the biggest urban conglomerates in South America. There are of course jurisdictional distinctions in Buenos Aires city that impact on infrastructure, funding, and state services.  31  People that constitute roughly 2% of the total population (Indec 200511). Figure 3: Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires Area. Map data © 2015 Google As the train advanced into the suburbs I watched the city landscape transition from apartment buildings to barrios of single houses. Out of the window I could see some middle class neighbourhoods: they had good infrastructure, brick houses with nice yards, and paved streets. Later the houses became smaller and the streets were sometimes unpaved. As the train advanced, some places in between stations looked more like shantytowns with self-made houses and no visible services. For example, I could see large garbage dumps by the railroad resulting from the lack of garbage collection systems. These informal settlements were more frequent as the landscape became more rural, some plots were empty, others had cattle, and others were sports clubs. As I reached the train station before the last on the line, behind tall hedges I could see glimpses of gated communities with large houses and manicured gardens. I got off at this station.                                                 11 The National Institute of Statistics undertook the survey Encuesta Complementaria de Pueblos Indígenas– ECPI in 2002. It was the first time indigenous population was measured by the Nation state (INDEC 2005).  Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires AreaFieldwork locationsBuenos AiresApproximate location of theBarrio Toba I worked at32  This train line then ends in the small centre of the district that in this dissertation I call Sauces, about 40 km from downtown Buenos Aires. During the 1990s and through tax exception policies, this district created a massive industrial complex that attracted its own wave of labour migration. But because the industries only employ highly-specialized workers, most national and international migrants did not find the jobs they expected. As a consequence, the district has high unemployment rates and, as a social worker in the municipality explained to me, many unskilled migrants end up working as service employees in the gated communities. In the 1980s this district begun attracting the elite and upper middle classes from downtown Buenos Aires to barrios privados (gated communities), and countries (named in English) both of which have fences around them, private security, and promise a “country lifestyle”: i.e. life in a safe, peaceful community closer to nature, and removed from a “class promiscuous” city (see Svampa 2001).12 In addition to all of the amenities of a gated community, countries also have expansive sports infrastructure, and many of them were originally sports clubs.  The irony is that even though the train line ends in the downtown area of the Sauces district, most of the passengers were working-class people. The middle and upper classes prefer to travel by car on the highway or to take a private door-to-door shuttle. They consider the train to be dangerous and slow. 13 Travel to and from Sauces therefore recreates class and racial separation, as different social classes have unequal access to speed and comfort as they travel. This is another dimension of the spatial divisions within the district which is organized around the coexistence of areas of poverty and others of affluence in sharp separation and tense proximity.                                                 12 By “colonizing” the suburbs the gated communities created great tensions with their surroundings. Poor and working class neighbourhoods start just outside gated communities’ fences and have differential access to services. Separation has been a never-ending obsession of these gated communities that continuously reinforce security, build taller fences, and make access harder (Svampa 2001). 13 While the number is under debate it is estimated that around 3 million people travel from the province to the city to work.  33  After a 90-minute trip, I got off the train and found the bus that would take me to the Barrio Toba, located in the poorest area of Sauces district.  The bus drove through an area of open plots: some were fields with grazing cows; others had groups of white houses, which were the district’s housing projects. We then followed a dirt road and reached an area of red brick houses that looked self-made. Other houses were made with leftover materials. We reached a place where brick houses followed the same design. This was the barrio Toba: the result of a land donation from the Catholic Church and a national housing fund. When the driver told me to get off, the only visible marker of this being a unique space (if any) was the community center. It was the only big building amid the smaller houses. A mural showed a dark-skinned indigenous woman with bare breasts, modeling clay, and a dark-skinned indigenous man, with bare chest, throwing an arrow. On top of the image the name “Los Tobas” clarified any doubt as to the identity of the neighbourhood. In the context of vast diversity that shapes the Conurbano, Barrio Toba is certainly a small place with around 250 people. However, the barrio is significant because it was among the first indigenous neighbourhoods created in Buenos Aires in the 1990s. There have been several national newspaper articles about this barrio, and an important amount of research and multiple government programs are undertaken in it.  This short trip illustrates the type of spatial production I am analyzing in this work. The production of differentiated places in the city, for example the city centre and periphery, and the attribution of groups of people to those places, is what Lefebvre calls “representations of space,” produced and projected by those in powerful positions such as urban planners and private owners of land (1991).  It is also what Foucault would describe as a form of power that classifies people and “fixes” them in place (1982, 1991). Yet, regulation over space is not enough to produce places. Lefebvre stresses that spatial practice and people’s perceptions of place escape dominant 34  forms of spatiality and also produce space. Foucault further stresses how power does not just delimit places and locate different populations in them, but also creates material arrangements of things and technologies of regulation and self regulation so people come to want to act as they are expected, what he calls a governmental power. The desire of the middle class for a more natural life in the gated communities but also the self fashioning of Tobas as authentic Indigenous People (a topic I develop later) can be regarded as part of the entangled forms of governmental power shaping people’s practices and, I add, shaping places.  The Conurbano is indeed a result of the spatial planning of quiet middle class neighbourhoods, and a multiplicity of policies and regulations (such as a restriction of access to rent in downtown) that historically redirected migrants arriving in Buenos Aires in the twentieth century to the borders of the city, and into informal settlements (see Auyero 2014). The hegemonic media (roughly composed of three main newspapers and five TV channels) and the white middle class Buenos Aires citizenry located downtown, think about the Conurbano as generically a place of the urban poor, and also racialize this area as the location of non white others. It makes sense for the barrio to be in this area of the Conurbano as the “last ring” of neighbourhoods in a semi-rural area, because this matches with the perception of Tobas as non white and non urban. Yet this semi-rural ring is not as stigmatized as the established villas or shantytowns are. What is unique is that this barrio is one of the only distinctly “indigenous barrios” in the Conurbano. The barrio is thus a place different from the city centre yet also different from the generic Conurbano. Doreen Massey argues that embodied movements, and the encounters that result from them, are key to place making. Building on Lefebvre, Massey suggests that movement and the management of movement are both an attribute of power relations and the result of social 35  practices that exceed it. If places are made through movement they are always already connected to other places, and not only through classifications, but through the material movement of bodies through space. According to Massey, then, space is a multiplicity of encounters in an ever-changing flow of spatio-temporal events: “If space is a simultaneity of stories-so-far, then places are collections of those stories, articulations within the wider power-geometries of space.” (2005: 130). I prefer to use the terms trajectories (another concept she uses) and mobilities, rather than “stories”, as the unfolding experiences in space that come together in particular locations are actual movements of bodies (people, objects) and ideas.  Places, then, are collections of encounters, and cannot be detached from the trajectories that connect them to other locations. The barrio, as I will describe, is the result of the encounter of trajectories of people who met in the Buenos Aires shantytowns and in schools and fairs and started working together. But the barrio is also continually recreated through everyday movements, such as the one I just described from the Capital to the Barrio Toba. My trajectory from the downtown to the Barrio Toba was to meet families living there and to learn about their urban experience. Massey argues that encounters are not free associations. Instead, different bodies have unequal possibilities for being placed, projecting, for shaping places, and of directing the movement of people and resources towards or through them. They have unequal possibilities for affecting places and leaving a trace. Deleuze goes a step further and argues that contemporary power is about access and speed, which also includes the capacity to move through space and to access places where certain encounters and resources can be accessed (Deleuze 1992, Grossberg 1992). These unequal and spatialized relations are what Massey calls power geometries. Thus, a commute on the train is also a movement that recreates the location of the barrio within larger power geometries of the city of Buenos Aires. Getting to the barrio on a train takes a long time, 36  which makes it a distant place from the Capital. Yet compared to other parts of the Conurbano, going to the barrio is a safe and smooth commute. The barrio’s location within Buenos Aires’ power geometries is of a tense proximity to and separation from the Capital. Many shantytowns are much closer to the city centre and thus are a more convenient location for anyone looking for a job there. Because of the distance, very few people from the barrio work daily in the Capital. Yet the barrio is also relatively accessible from the Capital. For people going by car the trip is even more convenient: the same highways that connect the gated communities of Sauces with the Capital can be used to get to the barrio in less than an hour. This is why middle-class people from the Capital see the barrio as relatively close to them: instead of traveling to the Chaco they can visit an indigenous location after a short drive. Also, when people in the barrio work in collaboration with these groups, the Capital becomes very close because they get rides. The barrio is close to the Capital when relations with people from the middle class are fluid. For the middle class who visit the barrio, its location is “far enough” to be indigenous and “accessible enough” to be visited. For the people in the barrio the location is distant from government offices, jobs and any possibility of making the Capital into a familiar place.  In sum, the barrio is in distant proximity to the Capital and in close separation to the rest of the Conurbano. This location is the result of everyday forms of movement, and the encounter of trajectories in the past that shaped the place of the barrio as an unusual place within Buenos Aires’ power geometries. 37   Figure 4: The Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires as seen by school children. Technology workshop, 2009. Reprinted with permission of Ana Medrano  A Stroll Through the Barrio: Places as Entanglements  My first two hours in the barrio were spent drinking mate14 and chatting with Miguel and his adult son, Leandro, at their house. The conversation revolved around how their life has improved after moving away from the “violent villas.” Our discussion was interrupted when a child dropped by to ask for a donation to buy a casket for his recently deceased father. “A tragedy, the man overdosed and left five young children. But they are from outside the barrio,” Leandro clarified after the child left with some coins in his hand. This interruption pointed to a central tension in the barrio. Markers of suffering and despair punctuated the alleged peacefulness and quietness of the area that Miguel and Leandro had been highlighting in our conversation.   Miguel used the interruption to say it was time to go for a walk. We walked outside his house along a dirt road with small houses in a row, and arrived at the open field with big buildings                                                 14 Mate is a popular drink in Argentina; it is a kind of tea drunk in a pot through a straw that filters out the leaves. Drinking mate is a social activity done during visiting. 38  where the bus had dropped me off. Our first stop was the communal area, and the first thing I could see was a plot of overgrown grass and half-built walls. “This is an abandoned construction site for the Iglesia Unida Toba,” he said. Miguel explained that one of the buildings in the common area is a dining-room. Because the doors were closed, I looked through the window: there was a restaurant-size kitchen and a big empty room. Miguel explained that the chairs and tables are kept in the storeroom because all of the furniture was stolen once before. The room remains closed on a daily basis, and is only used for weekly services of the Toba Evangelical church, the Iglesia Unida, that has its abandoned construction site beside it. The room is also used for special events organized in collaboration with middle class groups, such as music festivals. Miguel, however, did not mention the more regular users of the space that were right there: a group of teenagers who were sitting on a cement platform outside of the building listening to reggaeton music and hanging out. The dining room was built by a church NGO that operated a soup-kitchen there for several years. It continued until the priest, the head of the organization, went to jail in the early 2000s and the soup-kitchen lost all funding.15 The cement platform was a more recent contribution from a group of people from the Capital who thought that the barrio needed a permanent outside stage for community events. To the right of this building was the Community Centre, which was also closed that day. It was visibly older than the dining building, and built at the same time as the houses in the barrio. I later became familiar with this place, which has a central salon, three rooms, a small kitchen, and public washrooms. The Community Centre is open every day on weekdays because an adult secondary school operates in one of the rooms and it is also where I conducted a computer                                                 15 The priest and head of the organization helping vulnerable children, had several homes and soup kitchens. He was found guilty of molesting children involved with his organization, and was sent to jail. The foundation quickly dissolved after that.   39  workshop with children and youth during part of my fieldwork. In another room of the Centre there is a Library created by an indigenist NGO, open weekly whenever the librarian, a self-motivated volunteer, visits the barrio. Equipment has also been stolen here and the rooms have been kept locked since. I saw a pile of sand in the middle of the main room, and Miguel explained that the room was being used as storage for construction materials. A Foundation was going to build an additional room in all the private houses. I asked about the mural outside the Community Centre, which I had seen upon arrival in the barrio. A group of non-indigenous students and teachers from a high school had visited the barrio and offered to paint the images of a Toba man and women. They made the design and painted it themselves. Apart from the semi-naked characters, I noticed a sun and a carved stone. None of these have a direct connection to the Toba but are rather generically intelligible as “Indigenous” for people from the city. Responding to the sexualization of the semi-nude Indians depicted, someone had graffiti-painted a penis on top of the male figure. Some of the youth I worked with later took a close-up photograph of this detail and when we saw the picture on the screen we all laughed about it.  Thinking about places as collections of trajectories pushes us to more carefully analyze how the convergence of trajectories unfolds in time. The notion of entanglement, and the figure of the knot in a piece of fabric, points to the multidimensional aspect of encounters in space and the fact that connections are made even when trajectories converge in different times (Ingold 2011, Moore 2005). New trajectories can get folded into old ones and old trajectories may come to life when they meet other trajectories in unexpected ways. What Miguel was showing in the barrio and the common area is a good example of the spatial productivity of entanglements producing place. From our first stop it was clear that the idea of a common area for common use had not worked as expected, but also it was not the result of only one plan. Rather, the common area 40  resulted from superimposed encounters of families in the barrio with different groups of the middle class who approached them to collaborate. The entanglement is thus not only referring to the superimposition and re-inscription of relations producing space (the school donating the land and architect designing a building, another NGO using a main meeting room as a storage place) but also to the specific disagreements that bring them together, such as the half finished church or the mural being painted with the consent of some people, while young people prefer to ridicule it.  In the common area there were also ten shacks housing some of the barrio’s young adults. One young woman living there would later tell me that no one considered where the new generations of Toba people would live and that it was quite unthoughtful of both adults and NGOs who had planned the barrio. She was particularly angry that one NGO would rather enlarge existing houses than help youth build brick houses. Youth who had children had started to occupy the common areas and also plots outside the barrio.16 These shacks therefore showed the tensions around the use of the common space. While the NGO and adults in the barrio had projected the place of the barrio by dividing private homes from an area for community activities, they had disregarded the needs and movements of youth, who had pushed to become independent and built precarious houses in available plots that were not formally assigned to them.  Miguel also clarified that in the early 2000s they used all of the common spaces more frequently, when the families “were more united” and organized activities together. But that unity had faded away with specific tensions around, for example, how donated second hand                                                 16 While some youth have been slowly buying bricks to make solid houses, others live in unfinished and poorly built houses. One of them summarized to me: “My bed gets wet with every rain.”  41  clothes should be distributed. This is why, he said, families “preferred to work all by themselves” now. This was an explanation many people repeated throughout my fieldwork: that after a period of unity, the barrio became more fragmented.  The meeting up of trajectories of families with people of the middle class and NGOs had generated disjointed collaborations through which groups got together around different interests and expectations and all had rather different ideas about what would result from working together. This is what Ana Tsing calls “frictions of collaboration.” Tsing claims: “There is no reason to assume that collaborators share common goals. In transnational collaborations, overlapping but discrepant forms of cosmopolitanism may inform contributors, allowing them to converse--but across difference” (2005:13). While in our case, collaborations were not transnational, conversations were across class and cultural differences. I could see the spatial productivity of these frictions of collaboration: between the desires of the NGOs and “groups that help” who think of the barrio as a unified group of Indigenous People, and the changing needs of families. Frictions were visible in the enormous energy put into building a common infrastructure and in their decay, for the common areas were only partially used and the buildings were in a state of deterioration. Frictions were also noticeable between Toba adults and the youth who did not participate in these collaborations, and who instead hang out listening to music, and who had built their own houses in the common areas as no other sector of the barrio was planned for them. Finally, there were frictions between groups coming to the barrio to help; while some wanted to have a community centre because of the “cultural richness” of the group, while others built a dining room to satisfy basic food needs for them. This place was therefore the result of multiple, fraught encounters of trajectories entangled together and in friction with each other.  Miguel took me to a house on the other side of the communal area, where a man in his late 42  seventies named Lorenzo was drinking mate under a tree. Lorenzo was the first person in the barrio to arrive to the city in the 1950s and he was a central figure in the creation of the barrio. He was also one of the three people in the barrio with keys to the Community Centre. I was planning to volunteer in the barrio and Miguel had suggested I make arrangements with Lorenzo to get access to the Community Centre. Andrea and Carlos, the secretary and president of the Comisión Vecinal had the other keys. We talked with Lorenzo for half an hour and he began to tell us the history of how he came to Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, we had to interrupt him to meet other people. I said that I would come back soon to listen to those stories (some of which are the core of the following chapters). We walked down the street and stopped at a house with a yard and several children playing there. Andrea and Rogelio came out of the house, and apologized because they could not invite us to sit down. They were busy making handicrafts for a big order for a shop in Sauces that was due in the next few days. I told them about my intention to do research and volunteer and they suggested I teach children how to use the computers that had been donated and were unused in the library. Even though they had just met me, I was surprised that they were encouraging me to start working soon. From the conversations with Lorenzo and Andrea I realized that both of them were experienced in receiving visitors and probably held this role in the barrio. In a few minutes both of them had given me an overview of the barrio and had given me all the options to start working very soon. Their houses were not just “private homes” but were entry points to the barrio, where interested people could get oriented into their practice. In this welcome they made sure to plan my next visits so that my first experience there was smooth. My intention to do research and volunteer as part of it was received without any friction; only later would I see the tensions and misunderstandings of collaboration.  43  Our last stop was the house of Fernando, the preacher at the Toba Evangelical church, the Iglesia Unida, and the second church to be created in the barrio that has no building of its own. This is an evangelical church resulting from the presence of North American Pentecostal missionaries in the province of Chaco beginning in the 1940s. The first Iglesia Unida was created in the 1950s in Saenz Peña in Chaco province. Toba men, who had been trained and recognized as preachers by North American Pentecostal missionaries, created the church and became its leaders. The church is a Toba appropriation of Pentecostalism, where elements of shamanism are combined with the Pentecostal emphasis on a direct contact with God (see Miller 1979). The presence of this church in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires therefore signalled the spatial expansiveness of eclectic religious practices that came together and institutionalized in the Chaco. Fernando´s house was a bit larger than others, and had a large cement patio. As soon as we sat down, instead of talking about his church Fernando started telling us about the problems the Comisión Vecinal, the civil association that manages the barrio had in the last years. From now on I will call it the comisión. Later he asked me if I could help him by printing some certificates of attendance for their next church encounter. He handed me a sample certificate as we said good bye.  When we were returning to Miguel's house we walked past a bigger house, from where one could hear religious Christian song. Miguel explained, “this is Ivan’s church, the first church created in the barrio. It is evangelical but from another denomination, it is not part of the Iglesia Unida and it is not Toba. Simon, a Toba man and Ivan’s father, created it in the villa. He was married to a Guaraní woman, and made an evangelical church for everybody in the villas to participate, while it was connected to other Toba Churches it was not an official part of the Unida. When the families moved to the barrio Simon moved the church here, and he built a new 44  church on his own plot of land. When he died, his son Ivan took over as preacher.” Miguel then added: “Because we wanted to have a Unida church in the barrio we created another one. You can go to Ivan´s church, but I do not participate in it.” I noticed that Ivan’s church was rather small (it was around one-fourth the size of the community center). However, unlike the deserted common areas, Ivan’s church was the liveliest place I saw during our stroll. People on the patio smiled and waved a hello to us. Later I learned that both Fernando’s and Ivan’s churches are active and gather a large number of people. They both have people from outside the barrio participating, but while Fernando’s church is attended by mostly Toba people, Ivan’s church has members coming from neighbouring barrios and even from Fuerte Apache, the villa where the church was founded. These churches are the most “independent” organizations in the barrio. By independent I mean that while they follow Christian teachings and receive funding from other evangelical institutions, these churches have an autonomous organization under Toba leadership, and have their own aims, programs, and connections. Therefore, they are a key political and social organization connecting Toba villages and barrios. In my fieldwork, I attended Ivan´s services more often and I became close to a group of young women who attended the church regularly. I also attended Fernando’s Unida service one time and I realized that this was also a lively and well-attended organization. However, it was less organized. Unida services would often be cancelled and rescheduled, and there were ongoing tensions around the use of the building, because the president of the barrio’s comisión had the power to schedule last minute activities there, forcing the service to be postponed. These tensions over the use of buildings gave me a good introduction into the tensions around leadership and competition between families in the barrio. That is probably why Fernando’s first remarks were a criticism directed towards the 45  comisión. On that stroll I could see that Fernando’s Unida church had not been as effective in procuring its own building as Ivan’s church had. Through asking about the use of buildings I could learn about some of the tensions around disputed and disjoint leadership in the barrio.      As we were finishing our stroll through the barrio I asked Miguel about the general layout of the place. He explained that his house is located on a street along the eastern edge of the barrio, and that across that street there is an open field with grazing cattle (later I met a 12 year old boy who takes care of those cows). To the west, the only paved street draws a line between the barrio and the catholic school beside it. This is the school that donated the lands for the creation of the barrio, and which several of the children in the barrio attend.17 The northern edge of the barrio is also bordered by a street that hosts Ivan´s church. The houses on the other side of this street belong to another barrio inhabited by non-Indigenous People. Spatially this division is hard to identify. The block of common areas establishes the southern edge of the barrio, defined by the soccer court and the community centre. In the same direction and beyond the barrio a big plot of land was becoming populated with new houses from new neighbours and a few youth. About 200 meters south of the barrio, a paved road with heavy traffic connects Sauces’ district center with the head of another district to the west. This road is another way to get to the barrio, as there were several buses driving on it, yet Miguel said it was unsafe and that I should try to avoid it.18 When I asked Miguel about their neighbours in the other barrios, he explained they come “from everywhere” and he does not know most of them. He is only close to the few families that attend the Unida church (I noted this was in contradiction to the earlier claims that the Unida was solely attended by Toba people).                                                 17 One of the Non-Governmental Organizations working in the barrio pays their tuition.  18 When I started to take the bus with people from the barrio I began using this bus stop.  46  In delineating the barrio, Miguel was defining this place through its spatial limits and clarifying which spatially continuous sectors were not part of the Barrio Toba. By explaining how to get to the barrio and what places to avoid he was presenting the outside of the barrio as a potentially dangerous place for me. This layout became much less neat and clear-cut when I later visited the “casas precarias,” the precarious homes, or shacks of Toba youths who were living on the limits and outside the barrio; some of them were married to people who did not self-identify as indigenous. I later became close to a group of women in this ethnically heterogeneous group of younger people. On this stroll, therefore, Miguel was actualizing the disconnection of relations that produce the barrio as a different place from its surroundings, as a specific place in the Conurbano. When Miguel pointed out that barrio Toba was different from the other small neighbourhoods around it, he was actively erasing some of its relations to other places.  In her critique of Bruno Latour, Marilyn Strathern (1996) argues that in order to create certain connections in a network others have to be specifically and actively cut and left outside. She gives the example of scientific discovery where whole teams and predecessors are left outside the recognized authors of one scientific paper demonstrating the discovery. In a very different context from that analyzed by Strathern, when Miguel clarified that the child collecting money for the casket was from outside the barrio; he was disengaging from his neighbour with whom he later recognized he had an ongoing relation. He was also omitting the Toba youth living in these adjacent barrios and married to their neighbours. To make and present the barrio as an indigenous place it was necessary to create it as a distinct place: different from the shantytowns where they used to live and different from the barrios around them. It was necessary to clearly separate certain blocks from all others, which were also built on lands donated by the church yet had no legal recognition of being an indigenous community and had no NGO 47  assistance to build their houses. This was a point of tension with neighbours and municipal authorities. More significantly this disconnection had to be constantly recreated because the spatial limits of the barrio and ongoing relations with neighbours blurred the limits of the barrio as a distinct place.  In a short stroll, therefore, I got a clear overview of some of the defining social relations of the barrio as an indigenous barrio that is both close and distant to the Capital, and that is within the Conurbano yet different from it. I also got an overview of some of the analytical lines I would trace later in my fieldwork: the histories of arrival in Buenos Aires from the Chaco; life in the villas miseria; the collaborations with middle class people; and the active connections they keep with the Chaco. Furthermore, on this stroll I was quickly and effectively integrated into the barrio myself, for my volunteer work was immediately accepted and almost organized for me, and I left with a task to help Fernando with one of the Unida’s activities. From then on, people I met were satisfied with my brief introduction of my research interests, before moving on to talk about what worried them. I formally negotiated my entrance to the field several weeks later. When I met the president of the comisión and he explained to me that they hardly ever met. Thus I had no chance to formally present my project in a meeting and request permission. In a very brief conversation I presented my project to him and he gave me formal oral permission to work in the barrio. In this sense, my research is the result of yet another trajectory connecting the city to the barrio, and also making it.19                                                    19 People in the barrio did not care too much about the focus of my research as long as I went there. When I discussed about the possibility of staying overnight in the barrio I found that they were not comfortable about it as they are very pressed with space. 48  Making an Indigenous Barrio in the Capital: Spatialized Indigenous Politics  While the Barrio Toba is a new place in the city, it was not the first place where families lived upon arrival in the city. Most families first arrived to different villas miseria, where they lived for many years. Talking about their life in the “villas” (as they are colloquially called) was widely avoided in everyday conversations with me, and people preferred to elaborate at length about their life in the Chaco. When people narrated the history of the creation of the barrio these contrasts between the latter and the shantytowns were made explicit. The villas were remembered as places they needed to get away from, because they were violent, noisy, unbearable, whereas the making of the barrio had allowed them a sort of “return” to the Chaco: that is, experiencing peaceful nights and living in proximity to open green fields. People in the barrio often remember the Chaco as a place “where you are free to move around: go to the bush, visit your relatives, do what you want”, as Mathias, a man in his forties told me. He lived in a rural village in the province of Chaco before arriving in Buenos Aires and he was still constantly missing the Chaco and wishing he could return. Many people, including children who had been to the Chaco on holidays highlighted the abundance of food in the Chaco, and the beauty and peace of the bush, recalling the space with a glow on their faces.   In contrast, the villas were described as enclosed, overcrowded places where they got lost. Mathias explained, “in the villas it seems it is daytime all the time: bright electric lights, people are awake, there is noise all the time. I couldn’t sleep”.  He described this sense of estrangement based on the different rhythms and the sensorial shock the city provoked in him. From the barrio the Chaco was remembered as rural and peaceful, the villas as urban and violent. In sum, in this tension between Chaco and villas, the barrio Toba is described as a “return” to some positive spatial features of the Chaco: as a place with green open spaces, quiet nights, with children 49  playing outside, and yards where people can cook with an open fire. The barrio, in its semi rural location within the Conurbano is described as the “proper” place for them in the city. This perception therefore had an important role in shaping the barrio into what it is.  As noted by Lefebvre (1991), perceptions of space are not abstract images but are inseparable from the actions that shape places. In this case, people’s negative perceptions of the villas and their nostalgia for the Chaco were some of the factors that made families leave the villas and create the barrio. But while the making of Barrio Toba allowed a temporary escape from the villas it also inserted families into new constraints and new forms of subordination within the city. The creation of the barrio located the families under a different government jurisdiction while it disconnected them from all the previous relations they had established in the villas. Land Negotiation in the City When different adults narrated to me how the barrio was created, they all highlighted the same points: a need to get out of the villas, the experience of creating a handicraft co-op, and meeting people from two NGOs and members of the catholic church who helped them create a new place. I invoke land negotiation and not land claim because the lands of the barrio were negotiated with a religious organization rather than demanded from the state. There were also no activist activities involved as in the case of land claims where groups might rely on legal processes, demonstrations and land occupation.  Lorenzo explained that when he was laid off from his work in the port during the end of the last military dictatorship in the 1980s, he decided to start producing handicrafts for a living, as people in barrios in the Chaco do. In the early 1990s, Lorenzo received an invitation to give a talk in a middle class school in the Capital. He enjoyed how engaged the children and teachers 50  were with his stories about the Chaco and in addition he sold many handicrafts. After this first talk several other schools contacted him and asked him to give other talks. He invited other Toba families living in his same villas to join him in this activity; among them were Carlos and his wife Antonia. Carlos was a young man who had recently arrived from the Chaco. These workshops were the starting point for the relations that allowed for the creation of the barrio. The workshops were moments in which they displayed their indigeneity, and being perceived as indigenous allowed them to turn encounters with people of the middle class into opportunities for productive collaborations. The Toba started meeting people from the middle class in Buenos Aires especially by selling handicrafts at fairs or door to door. People of the middle class have worked with the Toba even before the creation of the barrio and were key actors in helping families to create the barrio as such. Yet they are not a stable or homogeneous group. Rather they are people who over the years have been interested in helping the Toba in the city, and thus got in touch with them, started visiting and collaborating, and then later tend to stop their visits. While they are very different from each other, they have either a humanitarian approach in helping the Toba or have an activist approach in helping their struggle. They include, among others, schoolteachers and school administrators, students, professionals, people organized around catholic parishes, as well as a few formal NGOs (this is a topic I develop at length in Chapter 4).  Going back to the creation of the barrio from the villas, Carlos further explained how they met other Toba families in the villas and started working together to do workshops about Toba culture. While he already knew Raul and his family, Carlos met some other Toba families when he went to a parents’ meeting at his daughter's school in the villas. He introduced himself as “Toba,” which provoked a big surprise among the other parents since, in his words, “nobody in 51  the villas expected there were Indians living there.” In that meeting, he got in touch with other Toba families. It is worth noting that when he initially met the other parents, they perceived him as an ordinary inhabitant of the shantytown. Only by enunciating “I am Toba” a few parents reacted by self identifying and approached him afterwards and said, “We are Toba too.” This indicates that no physical markers made these Toba people stand out amid other people living in poverty in the villas, not even to another Toba person. Lorenzo, Carlos and these families started working together to organize the workshops and produce handicrafts. Later, Julio and his wife joined them from another villa. Together they decided to create a cooperative for handicraft production and to organize talks about “Toba culture” at schools. With the assistance of people of the middle class, they did the paperwork to become a legal cooperative.  They set up a shop at the villas where Lorenzo lived, but after a year the co-op failed as a commercial enterprise and was dismantled. However, the families continued with the workshops, further consolidating their positionality as Toba people in the city. The cooperative also gave them experience working together and with the support of people from the middle class. This experience was thus an initial moment in the articulation of a shared Toba identity in the city that would allow them to negotiate the barrio in these terms.  The possibility of recreating knowledge and cultural practices marked as Toba is related to the fact that “the Toba,” along with other Chaco indigenous groups, tend to be regarded as “the most indigenous” of all indigenous groups in Argentina. This exoticization has attracted a long tradition of research, especially anthropological, but also missionary work (see Gordillo 2004). When Carlos stood in front of a school classroom and told stories about his life in the Chaco, about how he hunted in the forest, worked in the cotton fields, and witnessed his father’s shamanic power, nobody questioned whether or not he was an authentic indigenous person. 52  When delivering a workshop for those in the classroom, Lorenzo, Carlos and Antonia were undeniably Indigenous People and this became the core of their collaborative relation with NGOs and with groups of the middle class. Perceptions about their authenticity were produced in this encounter and are the link that has kept people working together long-term.  In the early 1990s, the teachers at one of the workshops in a catholic school were particularly moved by Carlos and Antonia’s account about the difficulties of living in the villas. The teachers contacted the bishop of the district, and asked him if the church had lands in Buenos Aires that could be donated to these Toba families. The bishop got involved and identified the lands of one catholic school, currently beside the barrio, as suitable for donation. When the negotiations started, a catholic NGO, which I call “Christians for Indigenous People,” joined in to help Carlos and Lorenzo to make the legal arrangements. Julio provided the connection with another NGO, which I call “Pachamama”, that offered support to build homes. Both NGOs self-identified as indigenist, and thus are part of a political organization of non Indigenous People who advocate for furthering rights and reparatory measures for Indigenous People (for Brazil see Ramos 1998). In this case both NGOs had been created and integrated by people from the white middle class, in many cases professionals, priests and nuns (in the case of the catholic NGO). Pachamama wrote a proposal with the families and asked the national government for funds for a social housing project that they would administer. They provided the technical requirement of hiring an architect who would be in charge of obtaining the permits and approvals for the housing project. In other words, several lines and actors come together in the creation of the Barrio Toba: a catholic school connected to the catholic church, two NGOs who provided assistance and technical support, and another catholic school that donated the land. Middle class people, indigenous activists, and artists who had helped with the handicrafts cooperative joined them too. 53  The neighbourhood emerged from this joint but tense double leadership resulting from of Julio’s and Carlos collaborations, and Lorenzo as the elder’s who is always involved in important decisions. During most of the history of the commission Julio and Carlos alternated holding the presidency.  The land titling process was fast. The catholic NGO helped with the paperwork to register the families as an indigenous community in the national registry and in the legal process of land donation. In 1995, the bishop’s office identified a catholic school to make the donation and the school decided what part to give away: around 2 hectares of land, where the nuns used to have a farm. The land was legally divided and donated to an indigenous association that Carlos, Julio and Lorenzo created to receive and administer the land and that is now called the barrio’s comisión. The day the land title was granted, the press was there, filming and taking photographs of the signing of documents. Shortly thereafter, in 1996, the first families moved to the barrio, living in temporary shacks while they built the houses with the support of the NGO Pachamama. Each family also mobilized the help of relatives from the Chaco who came to work. Some of these people, such as Miguel, ended up staying in the barrio and building their own houses on plots still available. All the families that moved in had either been part of the handicrafts cooperative linking families from the two villas, or were their relatives.20 Massey argues that  “the horizontality of space is a product of a multitude of histories whose resonances are still there" (2005: 118). In the case of the Barrio Toba there are traces of the histories of relations and displacements in the Chaco and in the villas elsewhere in Buenos Aires, as the barrio itself emerged form the villas. Some of the traces of the villas are relations that                                                 20 While most houses were given to families of more than four people, there is one house occupied by a single man. There is also a single mother who lives just with her youngest daughter.  54  connect people beyond the barrio. For example, several of the men still work in occupations they developed in the villas, and some married neighbours from there and socialize with relatives who still live there. More significantly, some young adults decided to stay in the villas and not move to the barrio. But the most significant connections that were legally recognized in the creation of an indigenous association are the ones linking the barrio and its people to the Chaco. And these relations separate the Barrio Toba from the rest of the villas. The Chaco, remembered as a place of “freedom” and an idealized rural life became the main source in the recognition of these families’ authenticity as “Toba.” The barrio was therefore a place where the traces of the villas were erased and where the connections to the Chaco were emphasized. The Chaco, as the source of their indigeneity, became a condition for the existence of the barrio. Families legally “needed” to have lived in the Chaco to obtain the lands in the Conurbano and create the barrio. In the next section I describe the legal recognition of the families as indigenous that allowed for their registry under the status of indigenous association based in the city and that allowed the donation of lands to take place. The state grants this legal status only to groups that the national agency recognizes as an indigenous community. The spatial experience of having lived in the Chaco was paradoxically constitutive of the legal recognition of the families as urban indigenous.   Authentic Indigenous in the City: Uncontested Recognition  The creation of the barrio as one of the first indigenous settlements in the city, was one action that even if only partially, challenged long-held notions of Buenos Aires as a “white city.” The government’s recognition of an indigenous group in the city and the granting of indigenous status to the association managing the land both implied a legal recognition of the families as indigenous and the land as belonging to the indigenous community. In sum it implied the 55  recognition of the existence of Indigenous People in Buenos Aires. It recognized an indigenous right to have a specific place for themselves in the city and to legally own land in it. This recognition is in contrast to the villas, which continue to be informal settlements and even when many villas have achieved land titles they continue to be linked with illegality (a topic I develop in Chapter 3). The recognition is also unusual in the field of indigenous politics. Even when the legislation is open to granting lands that are not their “traditional” ones as part of historical reparation measures, the tendency has been that groups have to prove a previous occupation in order to make a successful land claim (see Carrasco 2000; Briones 2005).21 Granting land in Buenos Aires to a group of Toba Indigenous People originally from the Chaco region was therefore an action that reshaped the organization of difference within the city space, even if partially. It is not surprising then that the Barrio’s land negotiation attracted numerous indigenous activists from other indigenous nations living in the city, and that the titling generated a lot of expectations among indigenous organizations. It was recognized as a moment in which possibilities for indigeneity in the city were changing, as Manuel, a Mapuche activist living in Buenos Aires explicitly told me. He explained that with the creation of the barrio other indigenous groups living in the city also started to hope for land. However, the creation of the barrio did not generate the wave of indigenous recognition in Buenos Aires that urban Indigenous People had wished for. The lack of recognition for others can be related, as Manuel himself suggested, to the difficulties other Indigenous People in the city have to be recognized as such, while the Toba’s authenticity is unquestioned.  All the groups that converged to help the families leave the villas for a new barrio recognized                                                 21 National legislation opens up the possibility of having land claims outside the “traditional territories” when they define land reparation as the handing back of traditional lands or other lands that “can guarantee cultural survival”. This clarification has allowed land claims in urban areas, and in regions where indigenous populations moved later (Carrasco 2000). Therefore, it allows for a partial recognition of displaced indigeneity.  56  them as Toba, as descendants of the populations that inhabited what is today the Argentinean territory before Spanish colonization. They further recognized them as keeping pre-colonial habits and knowledge alive and unchanged. As I said earlier, in Buenos Aires the Toba along with the other major indigenous groups in the Chaco (Pilagá and Wichí) are usually seen as indisputably indigenous. Since the period of state formation in early twentieth century to the present, they have been considered the paramount “other”: hunter-gatherers who have recreated shamanic conceptions of the body and nature, who were the last to be colonized by the Argentinean state, and who speak their native languages as a first language, even in urban areas. In the early twentieth century, the attribution of authenticity to their alterity was manifest in the fact that groups from the Chaco were toured around in human exhibits that displayed them as “live savages” from the remote Chaco (see, for example, Martinez 2012). Gordillo further shows how Chaco groups became the paramount object of Argentinean anthropology and an axis around which the discipline developed (2008). In Buenos Aires’ common sense and media the Chaco Indigenous People continue to be portrayed as true and unquestioned both in romanticized images of them as hunters and gatherers and as victims of modernity and party politics (see, Gómez et al 2007). This unquestioned recognition did not imply an opening up of indigenous recognition in the city or smooth access to collective rights. Rather, it had two restrictive outcomes. Because these Toba families could meet the dominant criteria of authenticity, their recognition also defined the conditions of potential exclusion for other groups, which in contrast to the Toba could be considered “not authentic enough.” These criteria of authenticity have distinguished the Toba from other indigenous groups who have lost their language, have assimilated to the life in cities and towns since Spanish colonial times, and whose religious practices were systematically 57  repressed. The Toba have been distinguished as even more authentic than indigenous groups in Patagonia who were colonized in the same period as the groups from the Chaco but underwent an even more radical process of state sponsored social dismemberment. Groups from Patagonia also had to confront a history of being labeled “not really Argentinean” by government authorities and anthropologists (see Perez 2011; Lazzari and Lenton 2002), while the Tobas “Argentineaness” was not so debated.  In spite of commonly held assumptions, Toba “traditional life” in the Chaco has not been a resilient recreation of habits and knowledge. Rather it results from complex colonial processes in the Chaco.22 In the 19th century, national military forces advanced over Chaco groups’ lands and reduced them to mission stations and state reservations. In these institutions Toba were disciplined for agricultural labour and subjected to policies directly attempting to erase their cultural specificity and identity. Subordination also included extreme forms of violence such as mass killings of Chaco groups, which continued until the middle of the twentieth century. The perceived authenticity of the Toba, therefore, is not a form of difference that “survived” modernization, but rather was shaped in violent forms of subordination and ongoing dispossessions of indigenous lands.  Unlike other indigenous groups, many Toba were able to regroup in the reservations and mission stations, and to occupy unused public lands in small sections of their previous territories. They were employed as a group to work in the emergent cotton and sugar agro-industries. This allowed them to continue speaking their language and to recreate practices such as fishing, gathering fruits, and hunting in the bush when they were not working on cotton and sugar                                                 22 Multiple other indigenous groups have had colonization trajectories that make it harder or even impossible to be recognized as such. The recognition and lack of recognition are tightly connected processes, and yet until recently non-recognition was not the object of academic research. This tendency has changed with recent studies of non-recognition across the Americas see for example Muehlmann (2013), and Lawrence (2004).  58  plantations. They were also able to recreate shamanic knowledge and forms of healing within the Pentecostalist religious service. These characteristics of Tobas, which were seen as problematic before the 1990s because they prevented their integration as “modern citizens”, became in that decade positive traits of their authenticity. For example, while speaking the Toba language or Qom l’aqtaqa as a first language was seen as an impediment to full integration into Argentinean society, it later became a sign of their true indigeneity (Muehlmann [2013] makes a comparable point in regards to the Cucapa in Northern Mexico).  The criteria of authenticity that state agencies held were also produced within global discussions about what indigeneity is and is not, especially materialized in transnational organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank’s adoption of general policies of consultation with Indigenous People involved in any of their development programs and funding. Because of Argentina´s growing dependency on agencies such as this one for financing its debt in the 1990s, the national government became involved in the discussions of which indigenous groups would be recognized and consulted and which would not. The criteria of these agencies were based on reified notions of a traditional culture, traditional organization, and traditional language. The criteria of authenticity were therefore shaped by local histories of indigenous and state relations and by translocal forms of government. Charles Hale calls the emergent recognition of ethnic and racialized minorities as agents of their own development “neoliberal multiculturalism.” Thereby joining together two terms that previously researchers had assumed to be in opposition (Hale 2002, 2005). Multiculturalism was initially celebrated as a democratizing move that would allow minorities to represent their interests in the face of government and corporative abuses, as for example putting a limit to the use of indigenous land for big resource extraction developments. Thus, multiculturalism was initially conceived of as a 59  limit to neoliberal processes of massive privatization of public resources and commodification of previous state services. Yet, Hale shows how this operated in Latin America by turning Indigenous People into subjects and responsible for their structurally derived limitations (and also linked with Focault’s notion of governmentality I presented earlier). Thus, instead of recognizing the processes of land encroachment and the limited possibilities of subsistence Indigenous People have, they were made into managers of the natural resources in their lands and solely blamed if, for example, they become involved in resource extraction.  Indigenous groups were thus made accountable for the self-management of “their problems”, while protecting corporate interests (Hale 2002). The limit to participation has been when indigenous and other minorities make claims that threaten big economic interests, and, in turn, any “failure.” For example, failures in intercultural education programs sponsored by these agencies, have been blamed on indigenous groups instead of recognizing the structural inequalities that limit the possibilities of indigenous peasants’ participation in the formal educational systems. In Latin America, the multiculturalist approach to government was expected to stop potential indigenous conflicts over land and resources. The fact that the 1990s was both the period when the barrio was created and a moment in which Argentinean government institutions were undergoing a neoliberal transformation was not a coincidence. As part of the requirements to have Argentina’s financial debt renegotiated, international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank forced Argentinean institutions to shrink their budgets and reach, and transfer welfare functions to civil society. A multiculturalist recognition promoting indigenous group’s “participation” in affairs affecting them became part of this transfer of state functions. The creation of the INAI, the Argentinean National Institute of Indigenous Affairs resulted from the recognition of Indigenous People in the 60  national and provincial constitutions (see Briones 1998; Carrasco 2000). The entanglements of trajectories and relations that created the barrio also include the development of multiculturalist policies in the national state agencies, one of which granted recognition to the barrio.  When the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs recognized the barrio, it therefore recreated local and transnational criteria of authenticity that privileged the experience of authentic Indigenous People over other groups whose recognition was more contested, either because of processes of cultural transformation, group fragmentation, or urbanization. The criteria that defined the Toba’ experience as authentic therefore also created the exclusion of other indigenous groups regarded as inauthentic or not indigenous enough.23 In Buenos Aires many shantytown dwellers also self-identify as indigenous or as having indigenous ancestry. However, even when they may be recognized as such by others and even counted as such in the surveys of the National Census and Statistics Institute, no villas have been able to obtain a land title of its lands because its population (or part of it) is indigenous. Likewise, as I mentioned other indigenous groups live scattered around the city and have not created their own barrios.  Furthermore, the double edge of recognition is that while it opens a recognition of previously denied rights it also demands very specific characteristics and thus presents limitations to any novel form of cultural production, sociality and form of identification to the recognized groups (Povinelli 2002:16-17). Once indigenous groups are recognized as “legitimate,” they are not only separated from those who are not, but also restricted in their possibilities. This happened to the families creating the barrio. To be recognized as indigenous, adults in the barrio had to continue to display their indigeneity, making constant references to the Chaco and erasing their experience in the villas. Meanwhile, the Toba youth who were born in the city and participated in forms of                                                 23 Further studies on authenticity outside Argentina see Raibmon 2005; Li 2007; and Muehlmann 2013. 61  suburban youth socialization have not been able to acquire plots of land and became a less desirable object of NGOs’ attention. The criteria of recognition demands that Indigenous People keep their cultural difference unchanged to meet the dominant expectations about how Indigenous People should be. Once Toba families achieved recognition, they found themselves inhabiting the tension described by Povinelli (2002: 6) as the founding principle of neoliberal multiculturalism, where subaltern groups are forced to identify with “the impossible object of an authentic self identity.” This includes a “traditional”, premodern version of themselves (see also Cadena de la and Starn 2007).  In sum, in Buenos Aires the criteria of authenticity turned the historical specificity of the Toba experience into an expression of “real” indigeneity. The making of the Barrio Toba was the product of the Toba’s assumed authentic indigeneity in the eyes of non-indigenous actors along with the Toba efforts and their coming together as one group of handicraft makers when they had been previously disconnected families. Recognizing some cultural practices as indigenous was also a way of selecting what type of indigeneity is possible in Buenos Aires: a group from “outside” the city, that speaks their language, have fished and gathered fruits for subsistence, and have shamanic conceptions of the world combined with other forms of knowledge (such as Pentecostalism).  With this analysis I am not trying to deny the relevance of Toba’s recreation of cultural knowledge and practices and the recreation of an identity as a form of connection with other Toba people from the same general area, in the city. Confronted with the experiences of colonization and its violence, Indigenous People have recreated their specificity not as part of an essence but both in regards to new post colonial positionings and in regard to a specificity that is valued as significant. Cultural practices are thus neither essences nor pure political strategies but 62  part of habits that become significant, practices that are recreated and recombined in other relations, such as Evangelism and forms of knowledge used in new situations. Indigenous experience thus emerges from forms of recreating practices and ways of knowing, habits and forms of relating, caring, and feeling that people find significant and are able to recreate in certain conditions. I will focus on these creative forms of reshaping an everyday life in the rest of this dissertation, yet in this section I want to specify the conditions of possibility that enabled the formation of a Toba neighbourhood. I will also address the question of why a new place was necessary, and why a specific area within the villas was not created, for example. On the other hand, the recreation of Tobas identity in a Chaco city has been an object of my analysis (Vivaldi 2007, 2011) and specifically for the province of Buenos Aires, has been deeply analyzed by Tamagno (2001) in her examination of one Barrio Toba in La Plata.  In what follows, I describe some of the ways in which Toba families weaved the project of a new place. I explore how this political process was the result not only of discursive forms of articulating new meaning to being Toba in the city but rather of very specific encounters of people in specific places.   Legally Indigenous The first turning point in the making of the Barrio Toba was when middle class groups from Buenos Aires met Lorenzo and other Toba families in the villas who were producing handicrafts for a living and began inviting them to deliver workshops at schools. Soon some families from the middle class helped the Toba families to create a cooperative to centralize and share the work of producing handicrafts and delivering cultural workshops. The cooperative in the villas then created and consolidated their “cultural work.” Creating a barrio required that this recognition 63  become a legal category granted by a state agency, and they needed to obtain a personería jurídica, a legal status as an indigenous group that could formally receive a land donation, manage it and administer resources. In this legal domain, the Toba’s authenticity was also unquestioned. With the indication that these families were originally from the central Chaco, that they spoke the Toba language, and had a culture to preserve, the National Agency of Indigenous Affairs unproblematically recognized them as an indigenous community. Lorenzo and Julio further explained that they considered organizing around other legal categories, such as a cooperative or a sociedad de fomento, the legal construct for any neighbourhood association. “However, in the end it was best to be an indigenous community,” Lorenzo told me.24 He later explained that this way the land could not be sold and that they could apply for projects as an indigenous community.  In this case, obtaining legal status and creating the barrio went hand in hand as they only applied for legal status when the donation of land became a concrete possibility. The families and NGOs decided to make the claim to the National Agency of Indigenous Affairs (INAI) rather than to the province of Buenos Aires. They used the national registry of indigenous communities because the provincial one was not yet created but also because they had easier access to the INAI with its office in Capital. 25 Once they received legal status the land donation                                                 24 The registries of communities were created in the 1990s to implement indigenous legislation developed nationally and provincially. In some contexts, national legislation overlaps with provincial ones creating tensions around recognition (see Briones 2005 for examples of this). In other cases, communities may use the jurisdictions strategically. For example, if a group is denied provincial recognition –sometimes as part of provincial governments’ way of preventing groups to advance in land claims- a group may apply for the national registry.  25 Later, the legislation of the province of Buenos Aires recognized the “existence” of Indigenous People in its territory but does not recognize the “pre-existence” of indigenous groups in it. It therefore does not recognize the province is on land that was previously indigenous. This legislation has discouraged the emergence of an indigenous movement in the province of Buenos Aires, as indigenous groups had to prove belonging to another province in order to be recognized. The limits of recognition in the provincial legislation is only one more symptom of the idea that the province of Buenos Aires and the city are European settler places and Indigenous People are migrants, newcomers to the area. This tendency has slowly started to shift.  64  materialized.  The legal status made the families into an indigenous community, and as such, they had to create a commission that would manage the barrio’s lands and the families as a group with a common interest. This legal entity creates an organizational structure very similar to a civil association, the difference being that as an indigenous community they cannot sell or mortgage the land that they may own. 26 Legal status also allowed the barrio’s comisión to apply for government projects, including the housing project. Once the barrio was created the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs was able to partner with them to help develop an educational project, which channelled international funds for “cultural revitalization.”  However, this legal status also implied a complex series of legal responsibilities. The comisión authorities have to be re-elected every year, hold regular meetings, and keep meeting and accounting books updated. These requirements hold for any legal society yet it was a novelty for many of the families that have not been in charge of legal duties like these before. Authorities in the comisión are held accountable for the administration and need to make budget reports every year (Carrasco and Briones 1996). This administrative work is very challenging for any group who does not get assistance from a lawyer and an accountant, and while the barrio did have this help they nonetheless experienced difficulties. When I did my fieldwork, the barrio’s comisión was behind with the paperwork, and in addition it had a government sanction because one of the past presidents poorly administered the resources for an education project. The comisión was not allowed to administer any project or submit any applications until this was resolved. Thus, the barrio had to work with other NGOs who applied and administered projects                                                 26 Not allowing any indigenous organizations to sell their land is a provision intended to prevent any future loss of the land. But this also restricts the possibility of applying for bank loans to initiate productive projects (Carrasco and Briones 1996). 65  on their behalf, which restricted their independence. This showed how the administration of special rights could drastically restrict the exercise of these rights. While everyone in the barrio knew who formed part of the comisión and what position they held, during my fieldwork the comisión never held a meeting. The commission was kept as a formal organization with little power, especially since it could not apply or administer any project. During my fieldwork they were never able to clear up the problem that caused the sanction. Historically, the presidents of the comisión have been either Carlos or Julio, who have alternated in the position. The neighbourhood has been divided since its origin into roughly two groups of families with each group related through kinship to one of the leaders.27 The creation of the barrio and its comisión has therefore generated a field of politics similar to other Toba barrios where leaders compete to represent the community while kinship and church alliances continue to act as superimposed on and sometimes in tension with forms of political organization. The big difference with other Toba barrios is that political brokers are almost non-existent here given the barrio is not significant as a source of voters. The comisión and its members are not constantly involved with municipal or provincial party politics as in the Chaco, in the crowded villas, and in the rest of the Greater Buenos Aires Area. Because of the absence of punteros, or political brokers, the barrio is also an exception to the politics that surround them (for political brokerage and politics of state in Greater Buenos Aires see Auyero 2001 and 2012).   The Toba families’ request for legal status as Indigenous People was not a planned strategy in a propitious moment of neoliberal recognition, but rather a relation emerging from the encounter of group trajectories. Yet the fact that this encounter took place during a moment in                                                 27 The two preachers worked as alternative leaders too, creating associations overlapping with the alliances around the commission’s leaders. 66  which these policies were being developed was significant. Obtaining legal status implied not only creating a new barrio in the Conurbano but also creating a new position in the city and a new relationship with the state. The legal status obtained to administer lands was thus a form of recognition but also a concession: it allowed the Toba to be “saved” from the villas, but only because they met certain criteria. Attaining legal status was also a moment of social and spatial separation where a group of Toba families was singled out from other urban poor to create a unique place. For the families moving to the barrio, recognition implied a change in their everyday habits as many of them became both the hosts and administrators of middle class people’s multiple visits to get to know the Toba (a topic developed in Chapter 4). While I share the deconstructivist projects of problematizing any idea of immutable cultural essence, especially as presented by the work of Spivak (1988), I think it is problematic to deconstruct cultural forms of production by colonized groups and reduce them to strategic political products. In other words, indigeneity is not reducible to a cultural construction that is purely fabricated, or a form of strategic essentialism enacted with political purposes only (Briones 1994, Raibmon 2005, Tsing 2007). Asking about the indisputability of the Toba’s indigeneity in Buenos Aires is to consider how they were able to connect with other actors in ways that other people living in shantytowns could not, and to problematize the conditions of those relations rather than to deconstruct their content. In the city, Toba families recreate forms of knowledge and cultural practices, including for example a perspective over relations with non-humans, and notions of health and illness, that are not a political strategy and rather a form of knowledge about the world and ways of relating to one and other.   67  Indigeneity as Labour  Making handicrafts is one of the central activities of the adults in the barrio who made the land claim. Only a few men have full-time jobs, either hired by the state municipality or in the private sector, as for example gardeners or maintenance employees. Most of the employed men work in construction under short contracts. Construction companies working throughout Greater Buenos Aires and downtown Buenos Aires hire them. Others have sporadic jobs as maintenance or cleaning staff in the district’s industrial complex. Women for the most part have no formal employment, although a few have worked as maids. Some women also beg for second hand clothes in the city and resell them to neighbours. In contrast to the Chaco where most families receive subsidies, only a few families in the barrio receive state assistance. Some have pensions and others receive benefits from the federal government such as the asignación universal por hijo, the universal child benefit, which pays a fixed amount of money per child to unemployed families. Because most people are registered as still living in the Chaco they are not eligible for Buenos Aires’ provincial programs. A few people receive subsidies from the government of Chaco through relatives or political patrons living there.28   More than half of the adult men and women produce handicrafts and do “cultural work” delivering workshops, giving talks, or, less frequently, playing Toba music in schools and festivals in downtown Buenos Aires. Many families work in the production of large quantities of handicrafts and sell them to shops, at markets and at fairs. The handicrafts made in Barrio Toba are animal figurines and necklaces made out of clay bought in stores, which are subsequently painted. This style of craft is also popular among urban Tobas in the city of Rosario but does not                                                 28 While families were not in a nutritional emergency, they do not eat as much as they want nor whatever they want. I saw most families have only one meal a day, consisting of a big stew with rice or pasta and vegetables and whenever they get some cash they spend it on meat first. This is similar to the situation in the Chaco. 68  exist in the Chaco (where crafts are usually made out of chaguar fiber and wood), revealing that this “traditional” practice is a product of an urban experience. Some families who have good contacts at shops and develop workshops at schools involve all of their members in the production of clay handicrafts. More importantly, the production of handicrafts peaks around Columbus Day (October 12), when numerous schools request Toba workshops. Around that time, people in Barrio Toba receive multiple invitations to participate in events at schools, markets and fairs to promote “Toba culture.” While they do not always get paid for these workshops and talks, they often get donations of clothes and food or are allowed to sell handicrafts at the event.  Therefore, the presence of Barrio Toba and perceptions of their authenticity as Indigenous People allows many families to generate an income. This is what other authors have called “playing Indian,” a practice through which Indigenous People themselves highlight the colonial terms of an indigenous authenticity. Playing Indian is thus a practice that fulfills the expectations of the dominant society as one of the only options available (see Raibmon 2005:11). This is not only a strategy of income generation, but also (as I argue in chapter 4) a way of establishing connections to the city and avoiding social and spatial exclusion. Again, with this I do not mean that Tobas are only strategically tailoring their indigeneity to the demands of recognition. Rather, in order for them to make a living out of experiences they value and habits they were not willing to leave aside they did need to align with the expectations set for them. In the same way as Raibmon discusses it, “playing Indian,” is not a cynical auto-orientalist representation of self but is rather the fashioning of a self presentation that needs to incorporate dominant meanings to be intelligible and even visible. If the Toba did not play Indian it would have been almost impossible for the middle class to notice them and have the will to buy their products, hire their 69  workshops and help them. In this sense I refer to playing Indian as this very specific performance of indigeneity in the encounter with the urban middle class, an encounter which became so significant during the creation of the barrio (for further discussions on authenticity see for example Conklin 1997; Muehlemann 2013).   Most people in the barrio agree that they have not been working as a community during the last few years. As Miguel explained in our tour around the barrio, “all families are working individually” because selling handicrafts and doing workshops created strong tensions around the distribution of stipends and items donated to the barrio. Many people explained to me that after experiencing repetitive conflicts, families just split up to work by themselves. Splitting up made sense from an economic and organizational perspective. Yet this contradicted the idealized images, held by groups of the middle class, of what an “indigenous community” is supposed to look like, as a place in which anything obtained is shared in equal terms. This expectation was reflected in the fact that people I worked with felt they had to explain to me why they did not work together. However, this expectation of sharing and cooperation does not consider the basic dynamics of market economy families were involved in. As I will further develop in Chapter 4 these expectations of the middle class are relevant because when they are not met, people in the middle class tend to get disappointed and distance themselves. The constant distancing of people from the middle class and the constant arrival of new groups shapes a cyclical temporality of these relations, in which Tobas too become tiered and disillusioned. The fact that Tobas do not meet middle class expectations thus define the intensity of relations and also the temporality of their dissolution.  The “cultural work” of promoting “Toba culture” ultimately implies differences in access to 70  the city and to forms of mobility. Those who are more active as cultural workers are usually older men and women who grew up in the Chaco but who have more experience and orientation in the city than the rest.29 The people who are very active also get rides in cars and may travel to the capital on the highway with people from the middle class. Some people move very easily in the city: they know and can evaluate different ways to reach a place. The rest of the people rely heavily on the train and cannot follow routes different from the ones they already know. The possibilities opened up for families to navigate the city centre as Indigenous People are thus not equal to all, and men are the ones that tend to be in charge of creating the connections to do school workshops.  Furthermore, because youth in the barrio were not born in the Chaco, and they do not have histories about an “indigenous life” there, being a cultural worker is not an option for them. For now, they accompany their parents but are not able to take over the activities. The limit to the reproduction of authenticity is the urban Toba youth who may not be seen as indigenous enough to lead a workshop, narrate stories about the Chaco, or sell handicrafts. While youth can learn some of these stories form their parents they cannot narrate in first person some experiences that constitute their parents’ authenticity, such as hunting, for example. If youth talk about cultural practices in the barrio in Buenos Aires they are not perceived as truly indigenous because these practices were not developed in the Chaco.  In my stroll through the barrio that first day I observed some of the tensions generated around the criteria of authenticity and the legal recognition of the barrio materialized in space and creating trajectories. The ambivalent belongings of youth who live either in shacks or have been                                                 29 When cultural workers have to take big amounts of handicrafts or bring back donations they need to take taxis. Some time families ask groups of the middle class with cars to give them rides. 71  pushed outside the barrio were symptoms of these spatial relations. The trajectories that shape the barrio thus confirm a point made by Massey: “You can't hold places still. What you can do is meet up with others, catch up with where another's history has got to now, but where that now is itself constituted by nothing more than -precisely- that meeting-up (again)” (2005:125) In this case the creation of the barrio has not constituted one community as some people expected (a topic I develop in Chapter 4). The creation of the barrio with a given layout and a given spatial limits has not held the place of the barrio still, as the youth, for example, have created new places within the barrio, have unfolded new uses of this place and have also stretched the barrio to points outside that land when they move elsewhere to have their own home.  An Indigenous Barrio in the Conurbano: (Dis)connecting Locations  This chapter is a starting point in tracing the multiple relations that assemble the barrio and the trajectories that transverse it. If the creation of Barrio Toba was an action of adults (with NGO support) that allowed them to get out of the villas, the multiple relations they established with the government and other NGOs and support groups were not planned encounters. Nevertheless, these encounters have shaped the barrio to be what it is today. The use (and lack of use) of the Community Centre and dining room, the presence of two churches, the competition between families to attract and work with groups of the middle class, and the tensions between adults and youth are some of the frictions between the trajectories that meet in the barrio.  Despite these tensions, the barrio is experienced by many of its inhabitants as a place of indigeneity that has somehow reconnected them to the Chaco. As a man in his forties said while speaking at a school, “Getting the land for the barrio was like going back to the Chaco”. He explained that they now have relatively large plots of land with gardens and green fields around 72  them, and that they can see the sky and let the children play outside. I would add that this place also implied living in a delimited "Toba" location, like they do in the Chaco. Manuel, the Mapuche activist who accompanied the land negotiation of the barrio connected this to the fact that the Toba are seen as the most “indigenous” of all groups. He said, “You know there is one thing about the barrio. The Toba are the most Indian of all of us in the eyes of the rest of the society: they all speak the language, know how to hunt, and have lived in rural villages. That is what society wants to see.” The Toba in the barrio are therefore positioned among the “most indigenous” of all the urban Indigenous People, and attracted more interest and more assistance than other groups. Unlike any other indigenous group, they now have several Toba barrios in the suburbs of the national capital.  But in this new indigenous place, youth are in an ambiguous situation, for many of them spent their childhood in Buenos Aires’ villas. They are therefore not recognized as fully “indigenous” as they lack a rural experience and habits. These youths like reggaeton and hip hop music and hanging out with their friends, and thus are part of suburban youth cultural production. While these youths were recognized as indigenous children when the barrio was created none of the adults involved considered what would happen when these children grew up. They were not part of the initial plans for the barrio and cannot access the status of the adults who own a plot of land and a brick house, even when they feel part of the barrio and have worked to be independent by building their own precarious houses in or around the barrio. They do not access the same amount of help and are not invited to do cultural work at schools because they lack the “Chaco rural experience” to legitimize it. In addition, they no longer qualify as “indigenous children,” a category of interest to some of the organizations. A lot of them are closer to other neighbours in the surrounding barrios, such as the ones Miguel was distinguishing 73  the barrio Toba from during our stroll. In this sense, the trajectories that produce the barrio need to be traced back to their multiple points of origin: the trajectories bringing people from the Chaco to the villas and the ones that allowed people to move out of the villas. There are also trajectories moving forward, opened up when the barrio was created: the ones that link the barrio to the people of the middle class living in downtown Buenos Aires who “come to the barrio to help” and the trajectories that connect families to other Toba barrio and rural areas in the Chaco.  But trajectories can both connect or be a means of active disconnection. The barrio was connected to the Chaco and actively disconnected from its surroundings and from the villas. In this way, power geometries are forces attempting to stabilize the work of connection and the hierarchies between places and are always only partially successful, always falling short due to the emergence of chance encounters and unpredictable connections. In sum, the Barrio Toba shows that movements are also part of networks, relations of people, places, and objects that assemble in space and act together (Latour 2005). The barrio as a place is not an enclosed object but a site that attracts, connects, slows down and redirects trajectories of people, objects, and ideas. However, this is not just a “node” of one network, but rather a site of intersection of several trajectories and of coexistence of networks that sometimes connect to each other and sometimes do not. It is a place defined not only by what it contains but also by how it entangles trajectories and mobilities (Moore 2005); and how it disengages from other places. Movement not only transverses and destabilizes places but also assembles one place to others, and may create planned disconnections. As I took the train back to the Capital that night after my first visit to the barrio, I jotted several questions and worried that my research plan was already starting to change. Could I 74  reconstruct the migration histories of all of the families? Would anyone take me to the villas? Could I follow the gardeners working in gated communities? Would I be able to attend the school workshops and meet all NGOS? How many NGOs are there? Would I be able to travel with families to the Chaco, and to the Toba barrios in Rosario or Santa Fe? (Nobody talked about traveling today!) These were only some of the possible paths that I wondered about that day. As I continued my fieldwork, I left some of these lines unexplored (for instance, the gardeners who work in gated communities) and I chose to follow others. If the Barrio Toba is a complicated entanglement of trajectories and mobilities, the description of the barrio presented in this chapter is necessarily incomplete. In the chapters that follow, this description will be made more complex but even at the end it will be an ever-incomplete tracing of associations. How people ended up in Buenos Aires is what I analyze next.    75  Chapter 2: “Ending up in Buenos Aires”: Affective Mobilities Winding and Entangled Trajectories to Buenos Aires  “I never thought I would end up living in Buenos Aires”, was one of the first things Martin said about how he came to the city. He is a man in his sixties who owns a house in Barrio Toba in Castelli, in the province of Chaco, where he used to live, and still considers moving back to that house. In Castelli he has siblings and many relatives he misses, and there he would be able to live close to the place where he was born. The only reason he remains in Buenos Aires is that his only son and his family moved there to live with him years earlier, and he enjoys living with them. Martin lived in many places before moving to Buenos Aires, he was born in a small village north of Castelli, where his uncle planted cotton and hunted. He later moved to Castelli, and traveled back and forth to cotton plantations where he worked during the harvest, returning to Castelli in the off-season when he would study the Bible. After the breakup of his first marriage, he moved to the city of Rosario where an uncle was living. There he met his second wife and lived with her for almost a decade, but they could not have any children and eventually they split up. He moved back to Castelli after this second breakup, and lived there for many years. If it were not for a phone call from his nephew, requesting help to build his house in Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires, and a subsequent offer of a plot of land for himself, he would still be living in Castelli.  While many people remember the time they spent imagining Buenos Aires while living in the Chaco, and how they dreamed of knowing the city, they also remember how unlikely this seemed to them. Most of them had not seriously sought to visit or move to Buenos Aires, and describe their move as a combination of chance events. “Ending up in Buenos Aires” meant that travel there was unplanned, and that living in the Barrio Toba had become a final stop in many 76  previous back and forth movements. Even among those who had always wanted to live in the city, their arrival in Buenos Aires was a result of specific experiences and their determination enabling them to get to this longed-for destination. Most people had been born in rural villages and had moved back and forth between several locations, had lived in other Toba barrios in towns or cities in the Chaco region such as Bermejito, Castelli or Resistencia, and only later had “tried their luck” in Buenos Aires. These trajectories were winding, repetitive and backtracking, and each turn was quite unpredictable.  However, “circumstance” was not one of the first explanations people gave me when I asked why they had moved to Buenos Aires. Initially, people told me they moved because of the economic and political reasons I expected them to name, and they simplified their trajectories in their narratives, describing a move from a place in the Chaco to Buenos Aires. They wanted to “get better jobs and salaries”, during a time of high labor demand in Buenos Aires in the 1960s and 1970s, and also to escape conditions of labor exploitation in the Chaco. They identified economic constraints in the Chaco: the “lack of work”, created by the technological transformations in the cotton industry that expelled Indigenous People from the labor force in the late 1970s; the “decline in the price of cotton” they grew, in a time when it became impossible for small farmers to maintain small scale agricultural activities. Some also said they “lived on a farm that was not big enough to support all of their family members,” a product of the ongoing process of agricultural expansion and expropriation of indigenous land over the century. Other people told me that they moved to Buenos Aires “to send children to school”, because of the difficulties that Indigenous People in the Chaco have in accessing basic state services. These answers located Toba trajectories within larger sociopolitical processes: people moved to escape the well-documented land expropriation, labor exploitation, and political subordination in the 77  Chaco region.30 While these were strong forces that pushed people who are now in the Barrio Toba to move out of the Chaco, they are not enough to fully explain their trajectories. Many people enthusiastically said they were very mobile in their youth, traveling to nearby villages for fun, or joining a trip organized by an evangelical church just to explore a new place. I had observed this in Toba villages and urban barrios in the Chaco before. Many people connected coming to Buenos Aires to these prior experiences of mobility, they had traveled to unknown places before, and described themselves as strong and adventurous. People also explained that coming to Buenos Aires emerged from affectively intense moments that pushed them to go far away from a bad situation, or in search of new options. Feeling angry or optimistic, breaking up with a partner or having a desire to explore, triggered many of their trips.  In this chapter, I analyze the forms of mobility and affective modulations that shaped the trajectories of people who are now in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires. I focus on the ways of moving that conditioned and allowed people to travel, and the specific trajectories that led people to the city. Mobilities result both from power relations and dispositions for movement, that make and allow people to travel in certain moments and certain ways. I conceive of trajectories as specific histories of movement, of people, objects or ideas.31 Trajectories are therefore, irreversible. They are “the history, change, movement of things themselves” that produce space as they unfold (Massey 2005:12); they meet and transverse other trajectories as they unfold and entangle with them in place. In my analysis, I consider three levels of interactions that have shaped individual trajectories: In the first section, I consider the economic and political processes                                                 30 For in-depth analysis of these processes see Iñigo Carrera (2010) and Salamanca (2015).  31 In this chapter I follow only people (and not objects or communications).  78  in the Chaco that conditioned people’s movements to Buenos Aires. In the second, I consider the forms of intense mobility experienced by young Indigenous People in the Chaco, and the gendered dispositions that shaped different capacities to travel to Buenos Aires. In the third section, I follow the trajectories of people before “ending up” in Buenos Aires, and bring together the entanglement of conditionings, dispositions, and affective intensities that triggered and gave friction to their movements. In tracing these trajectories, I found some unusual commonalities among people who ended up in Buenos Aires, as for example many of the men connected their movement out of the Chaco to having been orphans at a young age. These three dimensions of trajectories do not neatly contain each other. Rather, they are entangled relations that simultaneously pull people in different directions. Donald Moore calls this process “entanglements of power”, in his ethnography about land struggles in Zimbabwe (2005). Entanglement implies recognizing the different scales and competing agents exercising power relations, but also the intertwining of different forms of power that may operate at the same time. I understand trajectories toward Buenos Aires as a response to power relations that cannot be reduced to a “pure escape” from relations of domination. Subverting one form of power (i.e. escaping labor exploitation) implies getting caught in others (i.e. becoming objects of state assistance in Buenos Aires). Entanglements thus complicate the notion of governmentality. While governmentality recognizes the multiplicity of forms of power and their reticulation in the multiple dimensions of the everyday and its operation in multiple scales, it does not offer a way to understand the superposed and sometimes contradictory forms of regulation.32  Furthermore,                                                 32 Foucault’s power triad distinguishes between sovereign power, or the power to grant or take life exercised over a group occupying a delimited territory; disciplinarian power, or the regulation of the body’s activity in order to maximize specific forms of productivity; and governmental power, or the regulation of relations between people and things, and people with themselves, so that people and populations willingly act according to set expectations (Foucault, 1988). 79  these entanglements of power relations were modulated by affective variations in people’s experience. Specific encounters changed people’s capacities within these entanglements and pushed trajectories into particular spatial directions.  By suggesting that trajectories were also shaped by affect, I am not suggesting that arriving in Buenos Aires was an emotional response to a personal crisis. Rather, affect refers to collective variations in people’s capacities to act that result from encounters between two or more bodies – whether of individuals, objects or conjunctions of both (Spinoza 1996; Deleuze 1978, 1988).33 As the capacity to act is not outside power relations, neither can affect be; thus, attending to affect does not remove us from a consideration of power relations, but allows us to look more deeply into their consequences. People who came to Buenos Aires responded to affective variations at specific points in time, and within these variations new potentialities for action emerged. Not all of the Toba people undergoing land displacement in the Chaco ended up in Buenos Aires, and situations of labour exploitation that one person experienced all his life become intolerable in one moment and not at another. Tracing the affective variations in people’s trajectories ending up in Buenos Aires is a way to unpack why people decided to go to Buenos Aires at one particular moment and circumstance, and how they were able to do so. By engaging with affect, I, therefore, want to explore what type of intensive variations triggered movement; what capacities that movement enabled; and what capacities a person had to have to travel far enough to arrive in Buenos Aires. I also use affect to examine what influenced people once they arrived in Buenos Aires, as their motivation to live downtown was redirected toward                                                 33 While there has been a proliferation of works on affect, there is not a homogenous use of the concept (Gregg and Seigworth 2010). I follow the genealogy of Deleuze who takes the notion of affect from Spinoza. My work therefore takes insights from researchers drawing on and extending this genealogy such as the work of Mazzarella (2009) within Anthropology, and Grossberg 1992, Massumi 2002, and Beasley Murray 2010 within political theory. I have chosen this line because of the emphasis on affect as a collective and a political force rather than a patterned psychological experience.  80  living in the villas. Affect thus not only generates a form of escape but may reinforce relations of subordination, as, for example, the desire to live in a big city directed some people toward even more precarious living conditions as urban poor.  Being angry or hopeful is never an individual feeling. As I will discuss, Lorenzo was frustrated from working too hard on a sugar plantation in the Chaco. But this frustration became thick and intolerable when he was denied work on that plantation. He was angrier at having been denied work than at having been exploited. This anger made him look for options and consult his union, which helped him organize a claim against the company and seek medical treatment in Buenos Aires. Lorenzo’s anger towards plantation managers was not a manifestation of his individual psyche responding to pressure, but of the social relations of labour exploitation of which he was a part. Affective intensity defined the moment when he decided to stop accepting the plantation’s conditions, or, rather, his unemployment, and move away to make a claim of a national government that might help him. While this is an individual trajectory, it is part of the larger process of people detaching from rural work and moving to the city. Affect helps to explore the pull and push factors at work in the specific experiences of Toba families now living in the Barrio Toba where I worked. Further, when people moved they encountered other trajectories, and created new associations, which opened new possible lines of movement. Thus, trajectories were never straight lines but winding mobilities. Arriving in Buenos Aires was, therefore, only one possibility among many. “Ending up” is a phrase that condenses this experimental nature of movements to Buenos Aires and echoes Doreen Massey’s (2005) notion of being “thrown together” in place. Encounters that made people move did not follow an articulation around class, gender, ethnicity or specific historical processes, but rather were entangled combinations 81  of forces in which specific variations such as “being strong” mattered. I now turn to the political and economic conditions that shaped people’s trajectories.  The Colonization of the Chaco: Regulating Indigenous Mobilities  The families in the Barrio Toba moved to Buenos Aires as part of their search for ways to partially escape the conditions of subalternity, poverty and dispossession that result from ongoing forms of colonization by the local state and agribusiness in the Chaco region. Before military conquest, from 1880 to the 1920s (Iñigo Carrera 1982), the different indigenous groups living in the Chaco region had complete control over their territory and were relatively free to move. 34 Warfare between different groups, the repeated attempts by Spanish and later Argentinean armies to invade the territory, seasonal availability of natural resources, and the incorporation of horses and the development of cattle trade were some factors broadly organizing the mobilities of indigenous groups before Colonization (Palermo 1986; Nacuzzi 2007). Colonization was not a single moment of violent occupation by the Argentinean state as a monolithic institution, but a multiplicity of efforts and contradictory projects. Colonization was the violent intersection of trajectories of different indigenous groups first with the Argentinean army, and later on in the twentieth century with the provincial police, local government authorities, missionaries, plantation owners and poor criollo farmers (people of mixed Spanish and indigenous heritage with rural background and low socioeconomic status).35                                                  34 Indigenous populations in the Chaco are now recognized as ethnic groups organized into six linguistic families: Mataco-Mataguayo, Guaycuru, Maskoi, Zamuco, Lule-Vilela, and Tupi- Guaraní. This does not reflect the complex and fragmented multiplicity that existed prior to colonization (see Braunstein and Miller 1999). 35 It is important to note connections between the creation of political power and economic power in the Chaco, and the relationship of both to indigenous mobilities. Given the national government distributed lands to the elite families and military personnel who participated in Chaco’s colonization, those people also became responsible for policing where indigenous groups would be placed as workers and during their “free” time. 82  During conquest, mobility was an indigenous military strategy and a way to escape the army’s violence. Indigenous groups used the bush to hide from the army, where they could survive for months (Cordeu and Siffredi 1971). Military occupation eroded the economic autonomy of indigenous groups. The army denied them access to rivers and previous hunting territories, while land was parceled and distributed among big landowners and occupied by poor criollo peasants moving from Salta, and by European immigrants. Toba people I met in the Chaco explained this process as the end of their experience of freedom: “Freedom ended when the army occupied the region and plantation owners divided the land with fences,” Martin told me, echoing statements I had heard in the Chaco, too. In the eastern Chaco, Indigenous People were forced to gather in mission stations and reducciones (“state reservations”) that lumped together different groups. Some were able to remain outside these state institutions in “free” areas in between new ranches, especially to the centre west of the Chaco (Miller 1979; Wright 2008). Families who are now in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires came from different villages and towns in the central Chaco region, each of which is inhabited by previously unrelated groups.36 The biggest reservation in the area was Napalpí, but many of the people I worked with grew up in the semi-free fiscal farmlands around the cities of Castelli, Pampa del Indio and Bermejito.  The main purpose of missions and reservations was to discipline Indigenous People into wage labour. In this period, trips to the bush away from mission stations and reservations were a form of escape from the discipline of these institutions (see Gordillo 2004). Not surprisingly, these movements to the bush appear in people’s collective memory as moments of “freedom”, while going to work on plantations was described as something that made them weak. Indeed, people                                                 36 For specific histories of land (dis)placement in areas of central Chaco see, for example, Salamanca (2015) and Tola, Medrano and Cardin (2013). 83  in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires remember the heat strokes and exhaustion they suffered at the plantations. Nonetheless, many groups in the central areas of the province of Chaco, around Castelli remained outside of the orbit of mission stations and reservations, occupying less productive public lands, living on subsistence activities and seasonal work on cotton farms.  In the central Chaco region, the use of land and indigenous labour was organized in the twentieth century by different economic cycles. Forestry exploitation, the industrial production of tannin, and sugar production were the initial activities, followed in the 1930s by the rise of cotton as the main cash crop in the region (Iñigo Carrera 1983). Both cotton and sugar production relied heavily on the cheap labour of Indigenous People and poor criollo farmers to produce the “extraordinary revenues” celebrated by national and provincial governments  (Gonzales 1890).37 People in the barrio often recall their past experiences working on the cotton and sugar harvests in the Chaco.  The ingenio (sugar plantation and processing factory) Las Palmas was the first agribusiness organizing space for capitalist production in this region.38 Owned by British investors and subsidized by the national government, the ingenio provided the first access to electricity anywhere in the province, built a port, and created the town Las Palmas for the company (Mariotti 2010). Las Palmas employed thousands of Indigenous People as seasonal workers during the harvest. Production declined in the 1970s, and Indigenous People were expelled as workers (Mariotti 2010; Tamagno 2001). Lorenzo, who now lives in the Barrio Toba in Buenos                                                 37 The territory was initially a “national territory” under Federal control. In the 1940s, two provinces were formed: Chaco and Formosa. In the 1940s reservation and mission numbers declined and Indigenous People were regarded as “incorporated”.  38 Las Palmas was established in 1887 as the first and main industrial unit of the province. It was founded with British capital. In 1914, it employed 3,000 temporary workers of which it is estimated that 70% was indigenous (Mariotti et al. 2010). The ingenio went bankrupt in the 1970s and was bought by the state. In 1994 it sold its last properties. The National Institute of Indigenous Affairs handed a portion of the lands to the indigenous communities in the area (Tamagno 2001).  84  Aires, grew up in different indigenous villages in the spatial interstices of the plantation, and most of his relatives worked there, many of them permanently. In the 1930s, cotton became the main economic activity of the region, when the national government promoted it by subsidizing companies and distributing lands previously occupied by indigenous groups (Mari 2009; Iñigo Carrera 2010). Some indigenous groups, among them the relatives of Antonia and Carlos (two people who now live in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires), were able to organize as small cotton farmers on their own lands. However, they could not maintain the production for long, when in the 1970s commercialization became harder for small producers, they had to seek employment as workers on the plantation (Iñigo Carrera 1982). Castelli is the biggest town in the central area of Chaco province, and was an organizing node for the cotton industry. Many people now in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires used to work in the cotton harvest. At harvest time, indigenous families traveled from different villages to Castelli, to meet contractors who hired them as seasonal workers and took them in trucks to work on their farms, sometimes located hundreds of kilometers away. At the end of the harvest, indigenous workers returned to Castelli to buy supplies with their salaries before returning to their villages. The rest of the year, the Toba lived in villages, fishing, hunting, gathering, and engaging in subsistence agriculture (Iñigo Carrera 2008). While only the men were formally employed on cotton farms, they needed the help of their whole family to meet the daily picking objectives set by the farm owners. Children and women worked in the fields alongside men, but were not paid. Many of the people who I met in the barrio gave me detailed accounts of cotton picking as adults, and as children accompanying their fathers.  The mobility of indigenous families as workers was initially highly regulated by missionaries, reserve administrators, plantation owners and provincial authorities. A 1924 massacre in the state 85  reservation of Napalpí, south of Castelli, exemplifies some of the ongoing tensions that existed around the control of indigenous mobility in the Central Chaco region. A conflict emerged when local authorities denied indigenous workers permission to travel to work on the harvest in the neighbouring province of Salta, where they could get better salaries. When indigenous workers gathered in the reservation of Napalpí and their discontent took religious overtones, criollo and white settlers in the nearby towns feared a rebellion. One morning, municipal police and armed civilians surrounded the reservation and killed 400 Indigenous People in a few hours (Cordeu and Siffredi 1979; Salamanca 2010).  This event suggests the regulation of indigenous movement was a crucial source of conflict. Indigenous people were not free workers, moving where capital paid the most; they were a source of cheap labour whose mobility was closely regulated by local authorities. Landowners and the police acted together, and did not hesitate to use violence to control a potential disruption of this regulation. The reservation quickly shifted from the exercise of disciplinarian power to that of sovereign power. The massacre was not the action of a monolithic state; rather, civilians and local authorities performed it, and later the national government backed them up by sending troops to hunt down the survivors. While this was an extreme confrontation, everyday forms of violence continue to this day. Criollos and local officials often justify the killing of Indigenous People by police as a side effect of police interventions over land conflicts. People in the barrio have memories of this kind of violence, from which they say they escaped, using phrases such as “I left the villages because I did not want to be bothered anymore.” “Bothered” often refers to, for example, violent encounters with criollos in the bush, who shot at them because of tensions over land. However, these memories are blurred in the main accounts about life in the city, because, as I noted, there is a tendency to remember the Chaco with idealized nostalgia. 86  Nonetheless, these memories quickly emerged when people gave more detailed accounts of their life experiences.  People in the barrio also have memories of the arrival of missionaries in the 1950s. John Lagar was a North American evangelical preacher who came to the area to convert Indigenous People. He trained indigenous preachers who, in turn, created a Toba evangelical church, the Iglesia Unida, which quickly spread to most rural villages and urban barrios in the central and eastern Chaco region and influenced all aspects of community life (Miller 1979, Wright 2003). By becoming evangelicals, people internalized a new morality such as new gender divisions, as I will discuss below, but also incorporated previous habits into the service, such as shamanic conceptions of the body’s health and illness (Wright 2008). Since its creation, the Unida, along with other evangelical churches has become one of the main institutions that connect villages and barrios, bringing people together to participate in collective events or to study the Bible. Many men in the barrio learned to read and write by joining a church and learning to read the Bible, rather than through the formal educational system. Learning the Bible is both a way to access literacy and to become a more active member of the church. It is also, for men, a way to potentially become a preacher, which is a form of leadership that transcends the administration of a particular church.  In the 1970s and 1980s, seasonal work in the region shrank abruptly, ingenio Las Palmas went bankrupt, and the demand for labour at the cotton harvest declined because of technological transformations. The tasks the Toba used to perform were no longer necessary, because the use of herbicides replaced manual weeding and the harvest became mechanized (Mari 2009; Iñigo Carrera 2008). This generated an almost complete expulsion of Indigenous People as workers. In villages, families intensified survival practices by fishing, hunting and gathering in the patches of 87  forest they could access. Missionary groups and church-related NGOs linked to liberation theology (such as Endepa-Equipo Nacional de Pastoral Aborigen and Incupo-Instituto de Culturas Populares) began to support land claims. In the 1970s and 1980s, many groups successfully recovered lands in a time when there was no indigenous legislation at the provincial or national levels, becoming a vanguard in Argentina’s indigenous political movement (Carrasco 2000). Belgian missionaries worked in an area called Interfluvio (“interfluvial”), north of Castelli, and helped obtain the titling of 140,000 hectares in the 1980s for local indigenous villages, and what became one of the largest indigenous lands in the country (Carrasco and Briones 1996).39 Many of the families in the barrio grew up in this area, and some are sons and daughters of leaders who organized this land claim. However, the possibilities for making these lands productive were very restricted without access to credit. The processes of land titling did not stop an economic crisis from unfolding and many people, especially the young, moved to towns and cities to find work.   During this period, mobility from rural areas to the towns of Bermejito, Castelli or the city of Resistencia became more frequent, as people moved in search of sporadic jobs, to sell handicrafts and to study the Bible. 40 As a result, people created more stable settlements in the cities. Toba settlements also emerged outside of the Chaco, especially in the 1970s in the cities of Rosario, Santa Fe and La Plata (Tamagno 2001; Vazquez 2000). In this period, people living in urban settlements also organized land claims, many of them successful. Provincial governments in Formosa and Chaco handed out land titles and turned peri-urban settlements into                                                 39 I traveled to this area with a family from the barrio.  I describe this trip in Chapter 5. 40 Since 1950, poor rural populations have also been forced out of their lands and into urban margins (Ratier 1971).   88  formal Toba barrios in the 1970s and 1980s. 41 While this was a significant recognition, it also allowed governments to “fix” Indigenous People in urban areas and away from rural lands, thus allowing ongoing expansions of the agricultural frontier.  In the 1980s, a foundation managed by a military medical doctor doing humanitarian work during a tuberculosis outbreak among Toba people in the area of Castelli, contributed to the creation of the first Barrio Toba in Castelli. The foundation bought and donated the lands that were informally occupied by Toba families, most of them patients and their relatives. In the 1990s, outside the Chaco there were other cases of municipal, provincial or national agencies helping create urban Toba barrios. In most of these barrios, people made a living from state assistance, sporadic jobs, and selling handicrafts (see Iñigo Carrera 2008). When possible, people continued to gather resources in the peri-urban bush (Vivaldi 2007).  The experience of working with the Unida church and NGOs in making land claims shaped a new identification by many Tobas as “Indigenous People,” the term later adopted in provincial and national legislations (Carrasco 2000). In these interactions, the Toba became subjects of development practices and the welfare state, a form of relation that would intensify in the 1990s. This created a political space to articulate claims as indigenous groups, but restricted other forms of political action. To be recognized under the legal designation of “indigenous community”, a group had to prove that they shared a common history and culture. As discussed, these dynamics were part of the history of the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires.  In sum, the history of Tobas’ spatial mobilities in the central Chaco was the result of an entangling of processes of economic and political subordination, and the attempts by Indigenous                                                 41 The provinces of Formosa and Chaco were among the first in the country to have indigenous legislation in the 1980s before the constitutional change in the 1990s. The “historic reparation” that law mandated was implemented specifically by land titling for indigenous occupation (Carrasco 2000). 89  People in the Chaco region to counter them. Toba groups avoided discipline and confinement by spatially escaping to the bush and moving to empty public lands. To escape labour exploitation on farms and ranches, they searched for jobs in towns. Assistance from missionaries and NGOs, together with their own demands and activism, allowed indigenous groups to recover part of their lands but also made them more dependent on state assistance, especially in the urban barrios. All these movements opened new possibilities, recovering portions of their former lands allowed indigenous groups to fish, hunt and gather in their own territories. They created their own evangelical church, and settlements in the towns and cities that became formal barrios whose lands were recognized. These entanglements of experiences shaped the trajectories of people who are now in Buenos Aires. In the Chaco, everyone experienced labour exploitation and unemployment, limited access to state services, and complex relationships of patronage. For example, Carlos mentioned that he had to move when his father’s cotton farm became unproductive. Sofía came to the city to take a job as a domestic worker, employment obtained through acquaintances at an NGO with whom she worked closely. While these economic and political processes were part of what pushed and enabled people to move to Buenos Aires, they were not the only ones. Some people explained they were able to come to the city because they had traveled intensively when they were young. They were experienced, and thus had the capacity to start over, far away from all that was known to them.    “Looking for a place to be”: Youth Mobilities I now turn to a second kind of relations, entangled with the previous one, further generating possibilities for people to “end up” in Buenos Aires: the dispositions and affective modulations 90  of young people’s movements. By “young,” I mean the period of life that starts when teens are considered old enough to travel on their own, usually around twelve years of age, and ends when they marry and have their first children, which is when they are considered adults. In different Toba villages and barrios, I observed that many young people moved intensively and frequently. When I asked about it, adults said that traveling is part of growing up, and that this movement may increase and expand the possibilities available to youth. Parents are often active in helping young people to make short or longer trips, and may encourage the mobility of their daughters or sons so that they get valuable experience or contribute to the family’s well-being. Families and acquaintances, however, also watch over young people’s movement, especially that of young women, as they are considered in danger of being sexually assaulted. People in a group may spread gossip about women’s mobility if they consider that their movement is excessive, or worry if they think that the only purpose of that movement is “partying.”   Figure 5: A Toba Man in Castelli, where he lived as a young adult. Photo by the author. Toba people I met in different locations highlighted their experiences of travel in their youth. Some young people were mobile by visiting nearby villages, but others moved longer distances to travel from a rural village to a town or city. The duration of trips I observed was also variable; 91  people traveled for one day or lived elsewhere for over a year. Girls and boys over twelve usually traveled by themselves, moving, for example, to a different village to attend high school, get a job, or help a sick relative. Youths were also among the most enthusiastic participants in church-organized trips, some of which took them to cities outside of the Chaco for several days. Youths could decide (and were allowed by their parents) to move in with a relative and stay there as long as they wanted, if they had a fight with one parent or were feeling restless. These mobilities shaped by age were an important aspect of the life histories of the people in the barrio where I worked. In most cases, people said these experiences gave them the conditions and skills they would later need to travel far away and settle in a new place.  Young people’s movements were often described as actions through which they are “buscando un lugar para estar” (“looking for a place to be”). People explained they wanted to live somewhere different from their own villages, and mobility was the key to such a possibility. Throughout my work I observed that young people were allowed to try “looking for a place” several times if they need to, to move back and forth, and to make last minute decisions. I saw a young woman move to a town with her aunt to attend high school, but later quit and retun home because she did not feel comfortable there. A young man from a village in Chaco attending a teachers’ meeting in Buenos Aires decided at the last minute not to take the bus back home, traveling instead to the Toba barrio in the city of Resistencia with new friends, also indigenous teachers. In none of these cases did people express concerns about the youth’s decisions. The trajectories of young people tend to be quite unpredictable, and this unpredictability is considered a normal part of “being young.” In short, adults do not stop young people from moving, and do not usually force them to come back home.  Some men explained that in their youth they traveled to find work, in some cases to contribute 92  to the finances of their families, and in others to become fully independent of their parents. Martin was born in a village in the area of Espinillo, and, after becoming an orphan, he was raised by his uncle. He moved out of his uncle’s house when he was 16, because he needed to “valerme por mi mismo” (support myself). He explained that he wanted to ease his uncle’s burden of feeding so many children, so he went to Castelli to become a seasonal worker picking cotton. After the harvest was over, he never came back. He worked in the cotton harvest on different farms for several seasons, and when the harvest was over he stayed in the town. He learned how to read and write and studied the Bible in the local Unida church. Martin’s move was thus related to finding work and gaining independence, but his move was not planned in advance. Martin explained that, one day “I knew I had to go”, and so he left for the cotton harvest knowing he would not come back. Traveling allowed him to find a place for himself, be economically independent, get involved in the church and access education. It was, therefore, not difficult for him when, three decades later, he unexpectedly moved to Buenos Aires to build a house for his nephew, and “ended up” staying there.  Other men remembered their youth as a time of general unrest. Julio, a man in his early fifties who arrived in Buenos Aires in the 1980s explained that when he was 13, “there was nothing wrong with my family but I needed to go, just anywhere”. This is synthesized in the phrase “no me hallo”, “I do not find myself”, which describes the experience of feeling uncomfortable or not at ease in a particular place. This can be linked to boredom, or having no possibilities of moving forward in life, but it may also indicate a generic sense of unease. Julio first moved to live with an uncle in a village close by, but soon felt he had to move again and farther away. He traveled north to the province of Formosa, where he had no acquaintances or relatives. He arrived at a Pilagá village where he became friends with other youths and decided to stay there 93  (Pilagá is an ethnic group related to the Tobas). He got day jobs on nearby farms, stayed with some of his new friends’ families, and learned the Pilagá language.  Julio’s trajectory shows that it is generally accepted that the youths’ travel may follow no other reason than a “need to move,” and people who experience such intense eagerness to move find in travel the possibility of appeasing the feeling of being out of place. Julio’s unease persisted even when he had moved out of his village and moved in with his uncle, and so he traveled again. Only when he was far away in a different province and living in the village of other Indigenous People did he stop moving around. The disposition to move is thus one of the transformations associated with “growing up.” In Julio’s and other people’s experience, growing up implied this need to explore other places and live elsewhere for some time. While unease implies discontent, this need of young people to move is not considered something negative, because it may lead to becoming a stronger and more experienced person. Julio’s travel to Formosa not only solved his feeling of uneasiness, but the new relations he created there enhanced his capacities of action: he became economically independent at an early age, was able to learn a new language, and created a home with people who initially were strangers. He was visibly proud of this experience, and he emphasized that he never felt homesick. These skills were some of the reasons why, years later, he did not hesitate to move to Buenos Aires, even though he knew no one in the city. While Julio’s travel was unusual in that he moved to a place where he had no connections at all, many people who are now in the barrio had made similar exploratory trips, and had also emerged from them feeling more experienced in travel. People I interviewed, especially men, brag about knowing places and having acquaintances “everywhere.” Even the extreme form of unplanned mobility known as “la joda”, party life, is accepted if later on the young person goes back to a “right path”.  94  La joda is a term I heard in every Toba village and barrio I visited. People who “party” spend the day hanging out with friends, drinking alcohol and smoking; they go to parties and dance clubs in the nearby towns and “hook up” with different people, often criollos/as. Some young people travel explicitly to engage in la joda with youths of other Toba villages or barrios. Parents worry when their children live la joda, but do not punish them. As Noelia, who had a son in la joda, told me, “You can’t lock them up.” Parents encourage them to “get out of that life” and go to church, because people “en el evangelio” (who are evangelicals) stop smoking, drinking and partying. Evangelicals redirect themselves onto a “good path,” which is literally seen as a good and well-behaved form of mobility: staying at home, working, going to church, and traveling only for religious encounters. The transition from being in la joda to becoming a Christian is a recurrent topic at religious services. People who quit la joda are also regarded as experienced individuals who “saw a lot of the world”, but then had the moral strength to get back onto a respectable path. In other words, la joda can be a source of intense mobility among the youth, and this was central to the travel trajectories of some people living in the barrio.  Related to the sexuality implied in la joda, a few men admitted that another reason to move was to find a girlfriend. I had not considered this dimension in relation to mobility, and so Leandro surprised me when he explained to me the frequency of Toba travel: In the villages where I was born all families are related, and all women are your cousins. They may be your second cousins, third cousins, but they are relatives. Many men don’t mind, and they may marry one of his cousins. But others look for someone they are not related to, so they travel. They go with the church or look for a job somewhere else. They expect to meet a girl.   “Finding a place to be” gained for me new implications with this explanation. Travel was not just about economic independence and personal exploration, but also about the desire to find a partner, another dimension of becoming an adult. In the barrio, and in my travels to the Chaco, I 95  observed that young people often have boyfriends and girlfriends elsewhere, and it is, therefore, common for them to be constantly moving back and forth between their home villages and that of their lovers. Young people described falling in love as an intense, irrational need to be with or “meet” another person, and moving to be closer to them was a part of this intense affection.42 Adults expressed that, when a youth likes a boy or girl, “you can’t stop them from wanting to meet them”, showing that they regard constant mobility as part of the very experience of falling in love. When young people find a place to settle with their partners, they usually say “ya me quedé” (then I settled), and then find a job or form a family. The place where one “settles down” may be a nearby town, a faraway city, or the same village where one grew up. When young adults find their place, or especially after having children, their mobility usually slows down. Men may still travel sporadically, but it is harder for women to leave their children and domestic responsibilities behind.  During informal conversations with young women, many gave me similar descriptions of their past movement. While they did not travel alone for employment as seasonal workers on farms, many had still moved by themselves at a young age. 43 Sofía left her home in a village to go to the city of Resistencia because she wanted to get involved in church youth groups there. Andrea traveled back and forth intensively to go to school. Other women moved out of their parents house because of a fight with a family member, or because they had fallen in love with a man. In their stories, they described a different way of organizing their travels that was gender-specific.  Elisa is a woman I met in a peri-urban barrio in Formosa, who told me that when she was                                                 42 See Gómez (2011) and Tola (2007). 43 The women were not employed in the cotton field or the sugar plantation by themselves as the men were. They did not travel by themselves to participate in the harvest as young men do.  96  young she lived in a rural village in Laguna Blanca. Elisa visited her cousins in a nearby rural village most weekends. When she was a teenager, Elisa’s parents encouraged her to move to the city of Formosa to attend high school. In the city, she lived with acquaintances from the church, and, in exchange, she helped with household duties. Right after high school, when Elisa was single and had no children, she got a job as a nursing assistant. She soon saved money and bought a motorcycle. With the motorcycle, she was able to travel to her cousin’s villages very easily. Later, she told me that she had a boyfriend in the villages and that is why she traveled so much. However, unlike Martin and Julio, Elisa traveled to a specific place: her cousins’ villages. Even when she was very independent and in control of her mobility, she was not involved in the adventurous, random, and relatively spontaneous way of traveling that defined the experiences of young men, who may start a trip with no plan, and go to places where they know nobody. I observed that women usually traveled to places where they had relatives, or with an institution organizing their trip (such as the church or an NGO). In contrast to men saying “I needed to go”, women always explained their travels with regard to a particular goal: to attend high school, take care of a relative, attend a teacher training session. Women’s travels are thus more organized, and tend to have a particular destination and sense of purpose. Mobility enables women, as is the case among men, to establish new connections, learn, and be recognized as experienced. But, unlike men, the movements of women are an object of closer attention and scrutiny. If women do not follow an organized travel trajectory, they are considered to “travel too much,” to be irresponsible, and are the subjects of criticism by both men and women, potentially creating problems with their relatives and husbands.  97  Cecilia is an aboriginal teachers’ assistant in her early twenties,44 with two young children and living in a Toba barrio in Formosa Province. She traveled very frequently to attend aboriginal teachers’ meetings. When Cecilia went to Buenos Aires for a teachers’ workshop, she emailed me a few days earlier to tell me when she was arriving. She stayed with me, attended the workshop, and returned home four days later. Cecilia was among the most mobile women I met, traveling since before she had had her children, as part of her involvement in a provincial aboriginal teachers’ organization. In spite of how carefully she planned all of her travels, neighbours and in-laws gossiped that when she traveled she was meeting other men. When I met her in Buenos Aires, her husband had just left her. A few months later, I visited her in the Chaco, and she told me there was also gossip about her being “a bad mother” and leaving her responsibilities behind. She was angry and frustrated, and told me she was not willing to stop attending teacher’s meetings to get her husband back.  Gossip is a form of social regulation that may attempt to slow down or stop movement. People link women’s movement with the development of what is considered an “excessive sexuality”, which goes against being a “respectable woman” (see Gómez 2011).45 This is a category influenced by the Unida church, and condemns women who have sex with many men while being unmarried, or who “cheat” on their husbands. A woman who is not “respectable” is not only criticized in terms of her sexuality, but also as a mother. A “respectable” woman is assumed to stay at home and have all household duties under control. Even when her travels                                                 44 Auxiliar Docente Aborigen (in Chaco province) or Maestro de Modalidad Aborigen (in Formosa) refers to aboriginal teacher´s assistants. This figure was created as part of national multicultural education policies. Aboriginal Assistants are trained and employed in provinces with a high percentage of indigenous residents, such as Chaco and Formosa, but not in Buenos Aires. While they are not allowed to teach, they are expected to translate and tutor indigenous students. 45 My points about women’s movement coincide with the analysis of Mariana Gómez, who has worked in rural villages in the west of Formosa Province. She analyses the regulation of women’s movement to the bush as a control over their sexuality (2011). My work does not specifically focus on sexuality but shares similar insights about mobility.  98  were well-organized, Cecilia’s mobility generated suspicion, and her neighbors and in-laws, male and female, tried to regulate her mobility by insisting that she stay at home.   Thus, while women have relative freedom to move and can engage in intense travels when they are young (as the cases of Andrea, Elisa or Cecilia show), their mobility has to be well planned, and has to slow down when they become mothers. This observation certainly echoes feminist discussions around women’s mobility. Initial feminist approaches considered the control over women’s movement outside the household and into the “public” space as a universal form of regulation across societies (Rich 1980; Rosaldo 1974). In this scheme, feminists regarded mobility as a form of emancipating transgression. In the examples analyzed above, mobility may open up spaces and new possibilities for women, but it also may be directed by others, as when parents insist their daughters move to study, or to help a relative in need. This problematizes any dichotomous understanding of private versus public space and mobile versus immobile women. Women who travel may be under scrutiny, but are also valued as experienced. For women, then, mobility represents an ambiguous and contradictory experience. It may allow them to study, have a job, and gain leadership roles in their communities (as I will analyze later). Feminist authors have pointed out these complexities as an expression of the ways gender relations are embedded in broader fields of tensions that make it impossible to describe an action such as women’s mobility under one universalizing logic. To do so is to disregard the complex relations that enable and affect them (Abu-Lughod 1993, Massey 1994). Prior dispositions to move, and experiences of their movements’ regulation, were manifested in women’s trajectories to Buenos Aires. Only previously mobile women arrived in Buenos Aires by themselves, or were the ones initiating the travel of their family.  In sum, I observed a disposition in young people to move, and youth mobility is regarded as 99  part of the process of becoming adults. These mobilities are modulated by intense affects, related to feelings of uneasiness, romantic experiences, or attempts to earn independence. The trajectories of people that “ended up in Buenos Aires” built on these previous experiences of travel and expanded them. In most cases, the people who ended up in the barrio were not the most disadvantaged, but, rather, people with the capacities to access and manage themselves in long-distance travel.  In many cases, the people who came to Buenos Aires first were men who later brought their families to the city. Many of the women came as partners, following their husbands’ initiatives, and only for a few of the families were women responsible for the move. In the next section, I examine the complete trajectories of four people who now live in the barrio, and who generated their families’ move to Buenos Aires.   Unusual Trajectories  Moving to Buenos Aires was almost never a unilinear process. People went back and forth between locations, and lived in the Chaco region and outside it (as for example the city of Rosario) before they moved to a barrio (Spennelman 2006). Trajectories bring together the three levels of interaction I am analyzing – economic conditioning, dispositions to move, and the affective modulation of movement – which entangled with each other and triggered travels, shaped turns, and expanded mobilities. Arriving in Buenos Aires was the result of a shared longing to see the big city, but only in a few cases that became a reality. The Toba barrios in Rosario would have been for many people an easier destination. Toba barrios in Rosario were created in the 1960s, and currently include the biggest concentration of urban Tobas, and of Tobas outside the Chaco. According to some indigenous leaders’ estimations, close to 20,000 100  Toba live in Rosario neighbourhoods.46 But movement to Buenos Aires was not only the result of a longing to go there, or of large scale economic transformations, but also of unusual needs to move, take risks, and access more possibilities that emerged from specifically intense situations.  In this regard, by affective modulation I am not referring to the personal dimension of the trajectories. Rather, I highlight the way that political and economic dynamics, and group dispositions for movement come to vary in intensity and, in doing so, generate travels, orient them and modulate their speed and spatial reach. With the concept of “affective modulation”, I try to explore the following questions: When did a situation in the Chaco become so unbearable that people moved? How were people able to move? How did people come to move elsewhere even if they did not want to? The first type of trajectory I analyze is that of the women who were recognized as mujeres fuertes (“strong women”), who were encouraged to move to help their families living elsewhere. These women had the capacity to develop new links in a new place, and thus were asked to move. This is in contrast to the second type of trajectory, of men who had been key figures in the land negotiation of the barrio and organized their life histories around having been huerfanitos (“little orphans”). I was surprised when Carlos presented himself as an orphan, even when his father had died when he was eighteen years old. Men who depict themselves as orphans explain that they grew up “with no guidance”, meaning they were intensely mobile and had no fixed home in the Chaco. A third type of trajectory, highlighted by both men and women, involved breaking up with a partner, described as a moment when people needed to create distance and go elsewhere. Finally, many adult men moved out of the Chaco because of mandatory military service (abolished in 1994), which they identified as a moment that changed their capacities and                                                 46 This is an estimated number.  101  also their desire to move to far away places, making them better prepared to go to Buenos Aires. These four types of experiences are affective variations, and involve moments that changed people’s capacities to act, transforming their associations in one place and making them move elsewhere. This is a typology not of trajectories, but of affective variations, and thus many people had been simultaneously affected by several of them. In the next section, I analyze in detail four trajectories that were modulated by these variations.   Mujeres Fuertes  “Strong women” is a category that is used to refer to women who have a leadership role, are experienced, and are perceived to be brave. In the rural areas they are called guapas: women who know how to find their way in the bush; are skilful in obtaining resources; and know how to use a machete, climb trees, gather fruits and collect fibres. They are also brave women who confront the dangers of the bush. Younger women, in contrast, become strong by accessing education, getting jobs as health assistants or aboriginal teachers, and working with NGOs. Women who have leadership roles and organize community activities, such as running a soup kitchen, are also regarded as “strong women”.47 Some strong women have all of these capacities at the same time. In the barrio, a few of them were primarily responsible for making their whole family move to Buenos Aires. Some of these women, such as Andrea, are daughters of political leaders in the Chaco and had previous experience traveling.  Andrea was born in the mid-1970s, in a village in the “interfluvial” area of the province of Chaco, an extensive area between the Bermejo and Bermejito Rivers which at the time was                                                 47 For a longer characterization of the “mujeres guapas”, see Gómez (2011). The opposite of being strong is to be flojo/a, a category used for both men and women and closely related to a physical state of having neither strength nor ánimo, energy, initiative or will. 102  informally occupied by indigenous groups and a minority of criollo farmers. It was also one of the last areas of indigenous armed resistance during the military conquest of the Chaco, and thus is a central place in the collective memory of many indigenous groups. As a child, Andrea used to travel with her father, who was an important political leader, her mother and her siblings to visit relatives and other leaders in the villages of the area. They also went to work in the cotton harvest with their father several times. In her travels she got to know different villages, learned about political organizing and became “strong” as a result of these experiences.  When Andrea finished primary school, she attended the high school created by Belgian missionaries and located a few kilometers from her family farm: a boarding school for rural indigenous children. Andrea lived in the school for several weeks, and then went home to help with farm duties. Through this education, she met other Toba people, interacted with school professors and foreign missionaries, and got a high school diploma. When she finished high school, Andrea was fluent in Spanish, had strong reading and writing skills, and knew how to interact with institutions. Attending high school, therefore, prepared her for life in an urban setting. When she graduated, Andrea had her first child, and, because she did not stay with the baby’s father, she lived with her parents, who helped her raise the baby. Soon, she met her current husband and had two more children.  In the 1990s, indigenous leaders, including Andrea’s father, obtained legal title to 140,000 hectares of land in the area between the Bermejito and the Bermejo rivers in the Chaco. With the assistance of Belgium missionaries, they created the indigenous Land Association, which coordinated communities and administered the land (see Carrasco and Briones 1996). Andrea’s father helped her get a plot of land in the area, and she settled there with her husband and three of her eventually nine children. Andrea lived there for a few years, raising cattle and taking care 103  of her farm. When her older children were still small, her father asked her to move to Buenos Aires to help her sister who was living in a villa miseria (shantytown). He stressed that she would have more possibilities to move forward in her education there. Her father considered that she was more able to move than any of her other siblings, and her experience implied that she had a responsibility to go to Buenos Aires and help her sister.  In her early twenties, Andrea moved to Buenos Aires and lived in the shantytown with her sister for a year. But her husband did not find a job. She had no chance to study, and they both disliked the villas, so they moved back to the village in the Chaco. Andrea remembers that they were happy living on her farm and tending cattle. However, her sister became involved in the group doing the land negotiations for the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires, and, two years after their return to the Chaco, she offered to put Andrea on the list of families requesting a house. Andrea and her husband did not want to move again, but her father insisted on the importance of having a house in Buenos Aires, and her sister told her the barrio would be very different from the shantytown. Together, her father and sister managed to convince her to move. Andrea agreed with the aim of “juntar certificados”, getting as many education certificates as she could by taking courses and attending training programs. 48 She also expected to have her children attend high school in Buenos Aires, and even possibly access tertiary education. Since she moved, Andrea has been actively involved in the barrio’s comisión, producing and selling handicrafts, and working with NGOs and the middle-class people who approach the barrio “to help.” Andrea was responsible for her family’s move to Buenos Aires. She did not passively accompany her husband, but was rather herself the person with travel experience, who decided to                                                 48 For Andrea’s generation, social mobility for the Toba meant getting a high school certificatate as a health care or teaching assistant, and getting a job as such. Andrea hoped that more learning opportunities could lead her toward a stable job.  104  move and made the effort to settle in the city. Andrea, however, was also under a lot of pressure to move. Being a “strong woman” with unusual travel experience, holding a high-school diploma and possessing the knowledge of how to interact with state institutions and NGOs, Andrea was made responsible for her extended family. She was expected to contribute in a different way than her siblings, some of whom had no formal education and stayed on the farm. Her father and sister were able to affect Andrea to use her capacities in a specific way, to be a “pioneer” with her sister in the move to Buenos Aires and help organize families in the newly created barrio. Andrea’s settlement in Buenos Aires further transformed her extended family’s capacities for mobility as a whole, because the family now would have two houses where they could stay while in Buenos Aires. After Andrea moved, she and her sister hosted relatives, and connected people from Buenos Aires to the Chaco. However, Andrea, who is now in her late thirties, did not give up her desire to live back on a farm in the Chaco, and she periodically reminds her father that she wants to go back.  A few other strong women in the barrio also moved to Buenos Aires as part of the collective need of their families. As I discussed earlier, women’s movements were usually organized and planned, and followed a specific request to move “for the good of the family.” This is understood as an expansion of the families’ capacity to act, it is useful to have a family member who can run errands in the city, host family members from the Chaco, or be an intermediary with groups of the middle class who donate second hand clothes donations. Andrea and her sister were thus actively in touch with their family in the Chaco, texting back and forth and talking on the phone several times a week, in order to coordinate these forms of connectivity.  Kinship relations are actualized in complex ways, yet there is a tendency among groups now 105  characterized as Tobas for the maternal side to be stronger when people are adults. 49 Women can be expected to keep a more active connection with their parents once they have their own families. Having “strong women” in the family, therefore, can make a huge contribution to the overall well-being of the family. More than fifteen years after they had moved to Buenos Aires, Andrea and her sister had created a strong extension of their family there, sending resources, receiving and commercializing handicrafts, and connecting people by creating translocal assemblages, a theme I develop further in Chapter 5.  Orphans In contrast to the spatial expansion of kin relations created by “strong women,” many of the men who first arrived in the city explained that they went because they were orphans, and so their affective kinship relations with their families had been severed. As orphans, they had no significant kinship relations in the Chaco, had nothing to lose if they moved far away, and thus took the chance to explore their options by leaving the Chaco. Being orphans had shaped these men’s entire lives and made them more mobile in their youth, having no nuclear family pulling them together. During my fieldwork, I was surprised by the number of men now in their late forties or older who emphasized this experience of being orphaned, which initially seemed to me unrelated to travelling. I will illustrate this by focusing on Lorenzo’s trajectory. Sitting under a tree outside his house in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires, Lorenzo narrated his life to me in a series of interviews that were non-linear in chronology, going back and forth following one topic at a time. When Lorenzo recalled events he seemed to be reliving them, making gestures as if the landscape he was referring to were there in front of him. He also made                                                 49 For an in-depth and recent study of Toba kinship and its role in the making of personhood, see Tola (2007). 106  comments from his current perspective, reflecting, for example, on his work as a child, and his later realization that it was labour exploitation and a form of abuse. Lorenzo further made legal and religious references, connecting one event to another in unexpected ways. His sense of having been lost most of his life, with no family support, no guidance and no love until he met his last wife, was a recurrent theme. Lorenzo narrated his life starting from the moment his father died and then went back to contrast how well he was cared for when his father was still alive. Lorenzo was born in the area of Las Palmas in the 1920s, near the Ingenio Las Palmas. He started traveling when he was eight years old, after his father died. His father was a strong leader who exerted influence over several Toba groups in the central Chaco as a policeman, political leader, and mayordomo (foreman) who supervised workers at the plantation. When Lorenzo’s father died, the family abandoned their house and spread out into different villages. Lorenzo’s mother sent him to a nearby village to live with his uncle, who worked for the sugar plantation as well. In Lorenzo’s memory, at that moment he became an orphan: he had no home of his own, no guidance in life, and no family support. This status shaped the rest of his life. Living with his uncle, Lorenzo did not attend school regularly because no one cared about his education. He quit school before completing his primary education, hung out in the train station with criollo children, and took the train as a bum with them.  When Lorenzo was eleven he started working with his uncle on the Las Palmas sugar plantation, where they ploughed the land with oxen. He also worked during the harvest cutting cane and so was employed for half of the year, yet he made almost no money, just enough to buy clothes. When he was eighteen, Lorenzo had a girlfriend, and they had a baby girl. But the baby got sick and died, and the trauma of the death made them split up. Alone again, Lorenzo took an offer from the Unida to go to Resistencia and study the Bible. He stayed there for a short time, 107  and then he moved back to work for the plantation. In remembering these trajectories, he said it was very hard for him to confront both the death of his daughter and the fact that he had no family support. He said he missed having his father around to guide him, especially in such difficult moments. At the time of our interviews, Lorenzo was in his seventies and still lamented that if he had had a bit more guidance his whole life would have been completely different, and that he would not have needed to wander so much.  During one harvest, Lorenzo met Roberto, a Toba man working at the plantation for a few months who told him about Buenos Aires. Roberto was living and working in the city, and told Lorenzo how much work one could get there. He left Lorenzo his address and insisted that he go and work there himself. Lorenzo kept on working on the plantation, but after some time he started to feel a pain in the chest. He asked the sugar company to treat him, but the company doctor told him he was healthy. He took time off and rested for a few months. When harvest time came, he asked for a job, but the mayordomo of the area said there was no work that season. He knew they were hiring many people for the harvest, and they were denying work explicitly to him. This was probably because the administration did not want to recognize any work-related injury he might have, and so they did not want to have him as an employee again. Lorenzo felt betrayed and angry after so many years of hard work.  It was this experience, rather than the labour exploitation itself, that Lorenzo found most upsetting. He also felt particularly abused because his father used to be the mayordomo of the area, and he would have never denied him work. This was the situation that triggered Lorenzo’s first trip to Buenos Aires, when he decided to use the address that Roberto had written down on a small piece of paper. With union’ s support, Lorenzo prepared a folder with his medical record, got a train ticket, and left for Buenos Aires. Lorenzo’s trajectory was in this way marked by 108  intensely affective transformations: the death of his father, the breakup of his family, the death of his first child and the breakup with his partner, and losing his job at the plantation. In his memories, he linked all of these events and his subsequent trip to Buenos Aires to the experience of being an orphan with no parental guidance.  Going to Buenos Aires with nothing other than the address of an acquaintance written down on a piece of paper was a bold move. Nobody else in Lorenzo’s circle of relatives or acquaintances had moved that far away. His travel to Buenos Aires was modulated by these intense affects. One was his intense anger at the plantation administration, not because of the unpaid work he did as a child or the low wages he received, but rather because he was left unemployed. This anger was based on a sense of betrayal, and triggered his involvement with the union even if only to try to solve his individual situation. Lorenzo’s anger added to his sense of being alone in the Chaco, with no one supporting him and nothing to lose if he moved far away.  Other men also remembered their mobility as shaped by their experiences of being orphans. They explained that they had more freedom to move far away because they had no strong personal attachments in the Chaco. They were also proud of having confronted many difficulties, and becoming stronger than the average person because of this. Most of these men also had had moments of intense mobility when they were young, and they had managed to support themselves at a young age. When they moved to Buenos Aires, there was no Toba Unida church to help them settle, or any organized groups of Toba families. Thus, it was a sense of homelessness among some orphan men that opened up the option of moving farther than usual, of making a leap that was not as safe as moving to the well-established settlements in Rosario, for example. These male orphans and the “strong women” were, therefore, the pioneers in the expansion of Toba networks into Buenos Aires. Later, they helped others to settle in the city.  109  Breakups Another trajectory from the Chaco to Buenos Aires involves people who move to the city to escape from a breakup, and so to move away from intense personal confrontations with their former partners and families. These moves were acts of affective and spatial disconnection.  Sofía was born in the late 1980s, in a rural village in the Chaco in the area of Espinillo. When she was a child, her father was very active producing and selling handicrafts. He sold his crafts in the city of Resistencia, and periodically went to fairs in cities outside of the province. As a child Sofia went with him whenever she could, and on those trips she learned how to travel to cities, manage the business, and interact with criollos and white people. When her parents split up, Sofia was a teenager. Instead of staying on her maternal family’s farm, she moved with her father to the Toba barrio in Resistencia and attended high school there. Her father was involved in the barrio’s commission, and, although he was not a formal leader, he was always participating in collective events. In Resistencia, Sofía started to work with an NGO coordinating youth groups, and in this role she traveled several times to meetings in cities such as Rosario, Santa Fe, Formosa and towns in the Chaco. When I met her, Sofia had just arrived in Buenos Aires from Resistencia. She explained she came to Buenos Aires to take a job offer as a live-in maid in a middle-class home because her father insisted and supported her in doing so. However, what made Sophia decide to move to Buenos Aires was a recent breakup with her partner, with whom she had a child. A non-Toba friend Sofia had met in a youth encounter, who was also working in the house, had contacted her to offer her the job. Sofía did not want to take the job, because it meant she would have to separate from her child, but she finally decided to move to be far from her former partner and start over. She sent her child to live with her mother in the village where she grew up near 110  Espinillo, and let her father help organize the trip. He contacted Leandro, a distant relative of his living in the Barrio Toba, and made the arrangements for her to stay at his place for her first days in the city. Because of her previous experience of travel, Sofia did not find it hard to move around in Buenos Aires, and never got lost, for instance, as many other people did.  Sofia’s travel was thus related to several factors that I have been discussing so far: job opportunities, personal strength, and support and pressure from her father. However, she also had strong motivations to stay in the Chaco: her child, and her position as a youth organizer, a role she could not easily recreate in Buenos Aires. Therefore, what ended up triggering her move was the breakup, and her need to be far from her former partner. People say that former partners can get resentful, become aggressive (and even try to cause harm through sorcery), and get jealous if a woman (or man) meets a new partner. Accordingly, Sofia took an option she would not have considered otherwise, and decided to move far from Resistencia.  This was a common pattern. In many life histories, people described how after a breakup they had moved as far away as possible: from a village to a nearby town, to a bigger city, or to visit relatives in another province. In their accounts, people explained how they actively searched for any possibility to move away and create some distance, because remaining in touch with a former partner could result in tension. Thus, some people ended up in Buenos Aires because they needed to dissipate a conflict, interrupt intense relations in the Chaco, and start over.  Importantly, only those people with connections and experience were able to move away after a breakup. In this case, travel was a way of actively disconnecting from intense relations in the Chaco.  Colimbas Among men, an important factor that made them move to Buenos Aires was the military draft, a 111  major state institution that made enlisted men move across the country. After their military service, some men decided not to go back home. When I recorded men’s life histories, the draft came up time and again. Colimba is the popularized informal name given to any man who was enrolled in Argentina’s system of military service system that existed until 1996. It is a term that compresses the words “corre, limpia, barre” (“Run, clean, sweep”), which alludes to the actions associated with the draft. 50  Military Service (MS) was mandatory until 1996, when it became voluntary (Garaño 2012). Each year, all men who were seventeen years old and Argentinean citizens had their National ID numbers placed into a raffle, which selected the men required to do a year (or more) of service. During service men first received their military training, and then they were distributed across Argentina’s three armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), and throughout the country to perform the lowest-ranked tasks in each military unit.51 I had expected that military service would be a particularly traumatic experience for Toba men, because most Toba people have memories of the violent military conquest of the Chaco by the army in the early twentieth century transmitted to them by parents and grandparents. And, yet, most of the men I talked to remembered it as a positive personal experience, which they separated from the state violence that once engulfed the Chaco. The colimba was a recurrent theme in the trajectories of several men ending up in Buenos Aires, and was remembered as an experience that gave them valuable skills, and generated in them the desire to travel and visit new places.                                                   50 Colimba is the name given to the military draft and as a nickname for the men who were doing it.  51 Being a colimba was recognized as a very hard, even traumatic experience for many men, especially during the dictatorship years (1976- 1983) when colimbas had to participate in or try to avoid participating in the “dirty war” including confrontations with armed leftist movements, the illegal kidnaping, torturing and killing of civilians. Further in 1982, thousands of colimbas were forced to fight in the Falklands War with the United Kingdom. Undertrained and underequipped, thousands of Argentina’s casualties were colimbas. Nowadays, colimba is generational marker: the last men to be drafted were in the class of 1976; the last colimbas are now reaching their forties. 112  Julio’s trajectory, whose initial travels at a young age I described above, was further expanded during the colimba in the early 1980s. As the colimba distributed them across the country, many men were based in distant places. Julio was first stationed in the city of Corrientes and then sent to a naval base in northern Patagonia, where he learned to work on ships and was trained in parachuting. While he had been highly mobile at a young age and had lived in a Pilagá village, it was only in the colimba that he started to desire to move to Buenos Aires. One of his friends had worked in the city, and told Julio that he should go. Buenos Aires was full of jobs, he told him. Julio decided he would travel as soon as the colimba was over. He indeed went to Buenos Aires, even though he had lost touch with his friend and had no connections there. During the service, as they bonded with men from throughout the country, men of all backgrounds and places of origin got to learn about places they had never heard about. Julio remembered that, during the colimba, they had spent a lot of time making imaginary plans to visit each other’s hometowns. Thus, the military was an experience that gave men the opportunity to expand their mobilities to previously unimagined places. Julio further explained that, in the service, Toba men had a good reputation. The physical training and the tasks assigned to them, he said, were relatively easy to perform for Toba men. After all, they were used to hunting in the bush with rifles, and they had been exploited on plantations, so they were strong and could bear physically exhausting work. Toba men were used to very few hours of sleep, working with no interruption, and having one meal a day. They were also very good at finding their way in the bush, sleeping on the ground and shooting with a rifle. Therefore, they were praised by instructors and recognized as skilled soldiers. Their embodied skills and strength unexpectedly became a form of capital in the specific context of the military. 113  52 This praise contrasts with the scorn and discrimination indigenous men faced in other settings, such as schools and hospitals, where they were treated as incapable, stupid and childlike. It also contrasts with their experience as workers on sugar plantations, where Indigenous People from the Chaco were regarded as the least skilled workers (Gordillo 2004).  Military service also allowed indigenous men to learn new skills. Only in the colimba did Julio learn to read and write. There was a school for adults where, in his words, they “patiently explained everything.” He also learned to do advanced construction work, plumbing, and electricity. Because of this learning experience, Julio explained, “It came the time when I finished my time, they wanted to send me home, but I asked if I could stay. I wanted to learn more, and I had opportunities.” For Julio, military service gave him skills that were useful later in life, and would help him stay in Buenos Aires.  Julio also learned more personal skills to, in his words, “hacerse respetar por los demas” (be respected by others), especially after he was initially bullied by other conscripts. He explained: I had to learn to gain respect. At the beginning, other men treated me as if I was stupid. One time, other men stole my socks. I showed up at a uniform inspection without the socks, and I got a detention from the officers. But then I started copying what the other men did to me. Me avivé (I became aware), thus I stole somebody’s socks to replace the ones I had lost. I said I always had them with me. I learned to be suspicious of everyone. I became more aggressive. Then, they respected me; I never missed my socks or anything again.   When Julio was no longer the target of bullying, he made friends with several non-indigenous men, with whom he bonded on relatively equal terms. Julio and other Toba men gained greater social capacities, learning new forms of dominant masculine behaviour and so, paradoxically,                                                 52 I am thinking in the terms set by Marcel Mauss (1973) in his notion of “techniques of the body”, forms of training the body imparting specific capacities. Mauss is stressing something more basic than Bourdieu (1977): rather than recreating a socially-structured disposition for acting and with all its social implications, it was the trained body and his capacities of tracing, running, and shooting, among others that became a source of status. Under the stressful conditions of military training, Toba’s trained bodies had capacities others did not.  114  receiving a sense of respect and freedom they did not experience in any other state institution. Adopting the habits that define dominant forms of masculinity, enabled Julio to know what to expect in his relations with non-Toba men and to have a better time in the colimba and beyond. “Hacerse respetar” was an important skill to deal with coworkers in a construction site, for example. Later in life, Julio became a political leader, and he explicitly says it was during the colimba that he learned to be avivado, becoming aware in the specific sense of becoming suspicious of others trying to trick him; tricking others if necessary; and being aggressive in his negotiations. Julio emphasized that, after the colimba, he was never treated as a fool again.  In sum, the military was a state institution that efficiently enhanced Toba men’s capacities to move. After the service Julio wanted to go to Buenos Aires, knowing he could move there and find work in construction. He also was not afraid of interacting with other men, finding his way and settling in the city. After the colimba, Toba men were able to move farther than other men, and this explains why many of the first men to arrive in the city, and who later created the barrio, had served in the military.   “Ending up”: Open-ended Trajectories to Buenos Aires The four types of trajectories examined in this chapter show that people “ended up” in Buenos Aires because of particular historical conditionings, specific dispositions for movement during their youth, and forms of affective variations strongly shaped by gender. To understand how people ended up in Buenos Aires, it was thus necessary to go beyond the specific trip to the city and trace their complete trajectories, their personal “histories of change”, and their potentialities and conditions. In interviews and informal conversations, people made a point of explaining the intricacies and complexities of their trajectories to the city.  115  In all four types of trajectory, people explained their move as the result of a moment of intensity in their relations in the Chaco, an affective intensity that transformed a request, a conflict, a sense of disorientation and anger, among other factors, into mobility. Movements to Buenos Aires, therefore, were oriented by affective experiences, transformations in the capacities of individual and collective bodies (i.e. families) that created the “need to move.” This “need” is inseparable from broader social, geographic, and historical conditions, but indicates further an affective intensity, the sense of being compelled to move away from where they were and travel to Buenos Aires. Despite the diversity of trajectories described in this chapter, what they each have in common is the presence of an affective intensity that motivated them, as well as an emphasis on the importance of knowing how to move and travel. In tracing these trajectories, I found that most people coming to Buenos Aires had had previous experiences of intense travel, and such experiences were described as necessary to survive in the city. At present, moving to Buenos Aires is easier because newcomers may count on finding many established Toba barrios, and, therefore, on a pre-established network of connections and points of reference. Yet, decades ago, Buenos Aires was an uncommon destination for Indigenous People living in rural areas in the Chaco. In their memories, people stressed the unusualness of their decisions, moving to shantytowns that struck them as alien places where they had no connections. This made many of the people now in the barrio  “pioneers” in arriving and staying in the city where they had to “arreglarse”, figure things out by themselves, get to know people, connect with unknown institutions such as local schools, and find a place to live. The relative success of their efforts to settle down in the city is explained as the outcome of physical and moral grit, embodied in the “strong women” and in the colimbas. Affect profoundly shaped these experiences of mobility, and created back-and-forth 116  movements when people were young. Emphasis on the experience of being an orphan illustrates the salience of this affective dimension. And these affectively-intense personal circumstances are articulated as the source of valuable experience, measured in the capacity to travel by oneself; to make new friends and build positive associations that allow individuals, for example, to rent a place in the villas; or to be respected by others. Each movement opened new capacities and new potential connections, and the chain of those chance encounters made people “end up” in Buenos Aires. In sum, affect helps us understand why and how people moved within the Chaco, how mobility changed people’s capacities, and what types of situations triggered and oriented people towards Buenos Aires.  In this chapter, I have offered an alternative approach to understanding mobility as neither the result of political economic relations alone, the product of cultural practices specific to the Toba as an indigenous group, nor the consequence of purely individual choices. Instead, I have traced mobilities in their bodily and affective materiality, as embodied actions executed within and against entangled relations of power and domination, operating at different scales. The concept of entanglement brings together the simultaneity of relations that shape forms of movement, while the idea of a “trajectory” allows for an understanding of the spatiality and the history of the variations that take place within these entangled relations.  Tracing the trajectories that made people “end up” in Buenos Aires has forced me to consider regularities in their forms of mobility, and to follow the specific modulations shaping those movements. “Ending up in Buenos Aires” resulted from the intersection of different power relations operating at different scales, conjunctural encounters that were affectively intense and transformed people’s capacities for action, and the efforts to act within those conditionings. People went from village to village because they could not stay on their family farm, as there 117  was not enough land or work, and because they had met a lover elsewhere, or because they had had an emotionally intense breakup. Entanglement means that not one form of relationship alone can explain people’s trajectories to Buenos Aires, since several relations are always operating together. Entanglement also refers to the longitudinal dimension of travel; people had previous histories of moving back and forth, and the relations that made them travel to Buenos Aires were superimposed on those previous movements. Focusing on these mobilities helps to unpack the trajectories of people in the barrio. Mobilities that resulted from economic processes (such as rural poverty, unemployment, or labour exploitation) certainly explain the existence of a generic spatial orientation of movements, starting in rural villages and directing people toward towns and cities. Economic crisis and land expropriations have historically been two very strong and concrete forces that pushed people away from rural areas. People also moved away from everyday forms of violence from criollo farmers, for example, by moving to towns and cities in the Chaco. But these trajectories were not unilinear, and often had unexpected rhythms resulting from chance encounters or affectively intense experiences. In life histories, these affectively intense experiences were a necessary part of the bold move to Buenos Aires, and, ultimately, the creation of the barrio. Thus, people generally moved from rural to urban places, and they often explored several locations and came back home in between, in some cases going back to their home villages in the Chaco.  More importantly perhaps, most of these trajectories were defined by uncertainty. Very few people had planned to move to Buenos Aires or organized their mobility with that goal in mind. Most of the encounters and displacements were unplanned, and this is manifested in the phrase “ending up” in Buenos Aires. The typology of strong women, orphans, people who had undergone breakups or colimbas refer to these unusual capacities, and to the specific 118  circumstances triggering movement. Tracing trajectories showed these commonalities, and also the specificity of each experience. In sum, these trajectories were not straight lines. Rather, they unfolded over specific places, encountered other trajectories, and implied embodied transformations. Yet, the fact that many of these trajectories ended up in Buenos Aires, and not elsewhere, also indicates the affective pull of this city as the national capital, and, therefore, as the most powerful point of reference in national imaginings of progress and prosperity.     119  Chapter 3: The Villas: The Spatiality of Race in Buenos Aires Arriving in Buenos Aires, Living in the Shantytowns  In 1954 Lorenzo left the village where he lived, in the area of Las Palmas, Chaco province, and headed to Buenos Aires. He was frustrated because he had not been employed in the sugarcane harvest at the Las Palmas plantation, and was ready to make a claim at the company’s headquarters as the union had advised. When he left his house he had a train ticket, a few belongings in a bag, and a piece of paper with an address. The address belonged to Roberto, a Toba man Lorenzo had met a year earlier during the cane harvest in Las Palmas. Roberto had encouraged Lorenzo to “come to Buenos Aires, stay at my place and work,” emphasizing that “you can find plenty of work in the city.” Lorenzo had not seen Roberto again, but had now decided to accept the invitation. After a bus ride to the provincial capital and a two-day train trip, Lorenzo arrived in Buenos Aires. He described his arrival in the city in great detail:  I got to the train station (…) and I took a taxi because I felt lost. All the tall buildings, everyone moving so fast! The taxi traversed downtown, then crossed a bridge, and we arrived at the address I had. When we got there I saw the place and I was so afraid [he opened his eyes re-enacting the moment of surprise] …. It is a villa (shantytown)!!!   This was not the last time I would hear people from the barrio narrate their arrival in Buenos Aires as a shock defined by two stages: first, the encounter with a city felt as overwhelming and disorienting “so full of people and cars and buses, moving so fast” (as Lorenzo described); second, the shock of learning they would be living in the villas, the infamous Buenos Aires shantytowns. The families now living in the barrio arrived in Buenos Aires between the mid-1950s and early 1990s. Depending on the time of arrival, they confronted different socio-economic conditions. Whereas until the 1970s there was near full employment in the city, the 1980s and 1990s were times of economic crises and rising unemployment, the product of 120  neoliberal “structural adjustment” programs. Despite these particularities, life in a villa became a common experience to most Toba people arriving in Buenos Aires, including the families now living in the barrio (see Wright 1999). Most Tobas I spoke with in the barrio depicted the villas as places where “life was unbearable”: precarious, noisy, packed, and violent. For this reason, initially it seemed there was not much to find out about this experience. People said that living in the villas was very hard and this was the reason why they worked to create the barrio. However, later on people told me about aspects of their life in the villas that contradicted their earlier descriptions of an “unbearable” place. Neighbours in the villas were always ready to help. Tobas enjoyed learning about their lives in other places, for example, about people coming from places “with snow.” Many neighbours became their friends and they created a diverse community that could not be reproduced in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires. Furthermore, young people like Luciana told me the villas were not more dangerous than the Barrio Toba, and that people in the villas had a stronger sense of community. Why then did people not stay in the villas and make an effort to improve their situation there?  To answer this question, I found I had to engage with other experiences that people were talking about in a fragmented manner. For Tobas arriving in Buenos Aires, what was even more surprising than living in the villas was that many porteños saw them as negros villeros (“the blacks from the villas”). They found out they were attached to this highly stigmatized identification in very unpleasant encounters. Gerardo, a man in his fifties who arrived in Buenos Aires in 1984, remembers that when he lived in a villa called Ciudad Oculta (hidden city), the police frequently stopped him (something he still occasionally experiences). Officers were only guided by his appearance and the proximity to the villas, and they concluded that “he looked 121  suspicious” and thus they interrogated him for a long time. Every time this happened he got delayed and people in the street turned around to look at him as if he had committed a crime, when he had done nothing more than walk down the street. He looked suspicious, he realized, not only because he “looked poor” but also because he was dark skinned. The racialization of the urban poor, as “negros” and “negros villeros” (blacks from the villa) was something that the Toba, along with other internal and foreign migrants, experienced upon their arrival in Buenos Aires. All of these terms implied being of rural origin, uneducated, potentially violent, prone to breaking the law, and thus in need of control. Negros did not have access to the “city proper” and rather were “thrown together” in the shantytowns, along with thousands of other rural migrants who moved to the city in search of work. As negros, Tobas became the subjects of stereotypes, and these stereotypes prevented them from living in a regular barrio and even walking carefree around the city. In this chapter, I argue that what made Toba families move away from the villas by creating the Barrio Toba was not so much the forms of life in the shantytowns but the experience of being racialized as negros villeros and the implications of this status in relation to forms of stigmatization and discrimination. Given the alternative stories that people in the barrio told me about how the villas were places full of a rich diversity of people and where they enjoyed forms of solidarity they never had experienced before, I link the strong discomfort in the villas to this racialization rather than life in the shantytowns itself. I therefore discuss two intertwined processes: the experiences of being racialized in the city and the productive encounters this racialization created.  The villas as a racialized place can be analyzed through the lens of the biopolitical management of populations that Foucault and also Goldberg have related to the location of racial 122  difference in contemporary cities (see Foucault 1988; Goldberg 1993). As negros, Toba men and women were redirected to the city’s outskirts, restricted access to certain places, and subjected to specific forms of regulation of their use of space (for historical and genealogical analyses of the category negros in Argentina see Ratier 1972, James 1988, Milanesio 2010, Adamovsky 2013, Alberto and Elena 2015). However, as negros the Toba were placed in the villas, and there they met other people labeled as negros or non-whites in Buenos Aires. The villas were a place of unexpected encounters for the Toba and many of these expanded their capacities of action in the city. The Tobas’ experiences thus contribute to our understanding of how skin color in Buenos Aires classifies biopolitical populations. As described by Foucault, biopower is a form of power which has at its centre the care and enhancement of the life of a given group, and its protections against any others who can present a threat to it (Foucault 2003). The white urban middle classes supposedly have only European ancestry and are the focus of (relative) state care (as long as they “behave”).53 In contrast, dark-skinned, formerly rural and poor villeros represent lives that need to be controlled, because they are seen as posing a threat to the general wellbeing of the population (Adamovsky 2013, Alberto and Elena 2015).  Villeros and negros are identities assigned to the Toba upon arrival to Buenos Aires and these were new and alien to them.54 In Buenos Aires, both terms are tightly interconnected, for they are used together and in many cases interchangeably. While Toba families did not use the category “negro”, they did employ “villero” in a pejorative way, for example to refer to former neighbours, implying they had strange or morally questionably habits. It was not just state                                                 53 The systematic killing of middle class people from the left during military dictatorships, points to the fact that a sector of the middle class too was object of what Mbembe calls “necropolitics”, a regulation of populations where people can be arbitrarily killed. (Mbembe 2003) 54 See Lenton (2010) for an analysis of the limits of Peronism in incorporating indigenous identities in Buenos Aires in the 1946 protest the Malón de la Paz (“peaceful raid”). Malón is a word that specifically refers to the indigenous attacks to criollo towns and cities during colonial era. 123  officials and the white middle class who saw the Toba in the city as non-white. As I will illustrate, the category negro is widespread in all social classes, evoking poor people of indigenous or mestizo phenotype, supposedly uneducated, of rude manners, prone to criminality who do not belong in Buenos Aires and are perceived to be a problem and even a threat, as well as responsible for their own poverty. In order to illustrate this characterization I will leave aside other, more complex ways in which the distinction between “clase media” and “negro” brings together a big array of different experiences and identifications.55 In this sense, I discuss the dichotomy according to which a white Argentina was produced in tension with the Peronist non-white national identity (see Adamovsky 2009, 2012b). In order to describe the categories that tend to be ascribed to the Toba, I will momentarily bracket the internal diversities within both of these groups. I focus on how the Toba fitted into this dichotomy when they arrived in Buenos Aires, and while they lived in the villas. I trace the changes in their experience from a period in which negro was associated with Peronism, work and unions to one in which it is associated with migration, illegality and violence.  In labeling the Toba as “negros”, phenotype matters, for this category not only refers to a class distinction but also to racialized bodies seen as non-European and non-white. Since the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was an attempt by the Argentinean elites to erase racial differences with the default assumption that Argentineans are a “homogeneously white population” (James 1988, Alberto and Elena 2015). Yet racial categories, in correlation with class, continued being used to organize groups who did not fit this paradigm of racial homogeneity. As Segato argues, “The non-white is not necessarily the Indian and the African but rather an other that has the                                                 55 Currently for example some white middle class people talk about having “alma de negro” if they display a behaviour associated with being negro, something that adds complexity to the correlation of the notion of negro as simultaneously a class marker, perceived non-white phenotype, and a particular set of behaviours. 124  traces of the Indian and the African, a trace of the historical subordination” (Segato 2007:23, my emphasis). The notion of the trace is very important in that it simultaneously erases and recognizes. It erases the possibility of Indigenous People being contemporaneous and part of the city, yet it also recognizes the expectation of the founding figures of a white Argentina that non-whiteness would dissolve and disappear when European immigrants became the majority of the population. But this prediction was never fulfilled. In Buenos Aires, the Toba are seen as non-white, but they are not necessarily seen as “indigenous”. As generically non-whites, they are no longer Indigenous People, but people with traces of an indigenous background. Paradoxically the Toba and other indigenous groups in the Chaco are generically recognized by dominant society as “authentically indigenous.” In the Chaco, as indigenous groups, they interact with criollo farmers and state officials (including police, teachers, clerks at social services agencies, among others) who also perceive them as a racialized other. This otherness associates indigenous people with lower degrees of intelligence, being irrational, resisting modernity, having too many children, and ultimately representing a lesser form of humanity.   In Buenos Aires, anxieties about the unruly and dangerous nature of negros have been produced through the organization of space and the regulation of movement in space. Gordillo presents white Argentina as a racial formation, “a geographical project and an affective disposition defined by the not-always conscious desire to create, define, and feel through the bodily navigation of space that the national geography is largely European” (2015:5). The presence of negros in Buenos Aires prevents the white elites and middle classes from fulfilling this project of feeling that they live in a European city. Schematically, as a result of this division, negros are forced to live outside the “city proper” and have been highly regulated in their movements, prevented from living in white residential areas, and constrained from using public 125  spaces such as city parks without raising questions from the police. I therefore draw on Foucault’s (1988) notion of a governmental power, which stresses the micro technologies managing the relations of people with things, in this case a power that regulates the relations of people with a city. Together with authors who analyze the mechanisms of racial-spatial segregation in the city, I combine the notion of a governmental power with the notion that populations under a modern state are divided between those who count and whose life has to be enhanced and cared for, and those who are seen as undeserving of state care (see Goldberg 1993, Razack 2002). While Foucault does not make an explicit spatial analysis, his notion of a governmental power enables us to explore spatial relations that arrange bodies and objects in places so that subjects come to act as they are expected.56 I will refer to this power specifically in the regulation of people and their movements in the city. Regulatory power, however, is not all-encompassing. To unpack this dimension, I focus on the descriptions of the villas as places of productive encounters, drawing again on Doreen Massey’s (2005) notion of “throwntogetherness.” If space is a sphere of unplanned encounters characterized by the emergence of multiplicities of forms of socialization, then the movement of people and objects can never be fully controlled or anticipated. Chance encounters are what she calls being “thrown together in space.” The Toba who arrived in the city from the Chaco were thrown together in the villas with multiple other subaltern groups, with very diverse trajectories and created new forms of association and uses of the city. Tobas remember the productivity of meeting people from all over and also the force of their actions when they were part of collective mobilization in the villas.57                                                  56 By “object” here I broadly consider the large material dimensions of city layout and architecture, and also commodities and technological devices. 57 Other researchers have identified this constitution of urban collective subjects out of multiple different trajectories  126  Regulations and associations in the villas changed through time. Thus the first two sections of this chapter give an overview of how the Toba were racialized in Buenos Aires. After this I develop the effects of racialization and the positive encounters in the villas that emerged in the accounts of women and men who now live in the Barrio Toba in Buenos Aires. Between the 1960s and the 1970s, Toba people who arrived in the villas were connected to the Peronist political movement and the military dictatorships that overthrew Peronism. During the second period, from the 1980s until the 1990s, there was a return to democratic governments while the country experienced a series of economic crises. In both cases, the experience of the Toba sheds light on larger processes, such as the racial logic that organizes the space of Buenos Aires and the making of the villas as places where people from different places converged to create new collective subjects.  I draw on the trajectory of four families that lived in a villa currently known as Fuerte Apache.58 Only when I had done research in the barrio for a year did one man agree to take me to visit his daughter in Fuerte Apache. I reconstruct Tobas’ experience in the villas mostly from conversations with them and from this visit to Fuerte Apache. My insights are influenced and limited by the gender and age dynamics in place among the group of families I worked with. For instance, I was unable to talk to older Toba women who arrived to the city prior to the1980s, as they were fewer and two of the head of families living in Fuerte Apache had died several years earlier. In short, my analysis focuses on the experiences of older men (in their fifties and above), and younger men and women (in their thirties and under). I now turn to the brief characterization of the villas and to the category negro as they changed through time.                                                                                                                                                         as a “globalization from below” (for example, Gago 2013). 58 A few other families were living in Ciudad Oculta, another infamous villa. Their experiences have a lot in common with that of families in Fuerte Apache. 127   Villas and Negros  Toba people arriving in Buenos Aires before the creation of the barrio Toba found themselves living in the villas regardless of whether they had family or acquaintances to host them. The hotels and pensiones (live-in hotels) for the working class in the city were too expensive for someone arriving unemployed from the Chaco, and these places also gave preference to people with good references. Renting a room or an apartment was also impossible for them. In Buenos Aires, you need to provide a property title as warranty to sign a rental lease (if the renter does not pay his or her rent, the landlord can sue both the renter and the warrantor who can pay the debt). The result of this policy is that most working-class people and migrants, whose network of relations are either elsewhere or also renters, have no way of entering a rental agreement, even in working class neighbourhoods.  The villas first emerged in Buenos Aires the 1950s and were originally informal and illegal settlements located on vacant lands, composed of precarious and haphazard shacks made from cheap materials. The villas share a similar history with other informal cities in Latin America (and slums elsewhere): rural to urban migrations, industrialization, and segregation of internal migrants. They also share the basic tension of being “denied” the ability to be part of the “city proper” even though they are connected and part of it at multiple levels (Fischer 2014).59 The villas are tied to specific national processes such as the formation of Peronism, the successive dictatorships and different economic crisis (see Fischer 2014, Auyero 2014). They were built by                                                 59 Brodwyn Fischer makes a fundamental point about informal cities in Latin America: “[Urbanization] demands that cities recognize the needs and interest that poor informal cities serve, the multiple ways in which they are embedded in urban life and that they expand the limits of the formal city to incorporate what informality does best” (2014:7).  128  the mass of migrants who were arriving, like Lorenzo, from rural areas to work in the emerging industrial sector. People settled in the villas with the hope of being there only temporarily, until they could find a job and move out (see Cravino 2012). With time some people were able to move out, but others were not. As new immigrants continued to arrive in Buenos Aires, the villas expanded. People living there for many years started to invest in the improvement of their homes, building brick houses, for example. This produced conflict with the military government, who did not want to see the villas as permanent settlements. Dictatorial military governments from 1966-1973 and especially 1976-83 developed policies to “eradicate” villas: evicting families, destroying shacks and other structures, and putting the land to new uses (Blaunstein 2006). People evicted from villas had to move farther away from the capital, in most cases to illegally occupy lands in the greater Buenos Aires area and thus create new villas there.  With the return to democratic government in the 1980s, evictions stopped and the villas were repopulated and expanded. This growth was also promoted by city and national governments that sought to generate social inclusion by “urbanizing the villas”, developing housing projects, connecting villas to sewage systems, and imposing taxes (Blaustein 2006). Importantly, while this may seem like a more supportive system, under both military and democratic regimes the villas were regarded as a place different from the city, which, at worst needed to be wiped out completely and at best needed to be reformed. Both approaches, either to erase or transform the villas, show that all governments have aimed to progressively terminate the villas in one way or another.  Today, the places called “villas” encompass a range of very different kinds of spaces. Some, for example, are illegal settlements built on public lands beside the railroad, with no roads (only corridors), no sewage, and no running water. Others are working-class neighbourhoods with 129  paved streets and brick houses. And others are housing projects for the poor. Many villas have a combination of all of these structures – shacks, houses, apartment buildings – oftentimes reflecting the histories of older villas as they changed from shantytowns to developing neighbourhoods with structures several stories tall (such as in the paradigmatic villas 31). In this way, in many cases, the villas are just the same as other Latin American informal cities, while in others they are stigmatized working class neighbourhoods, called “villas” in spite of having the same legal situation and infrastructure as “proper” barrios.  Fuerte Apache, where many of the Toba families first lived, is a housing project for the poor built on legally owned land, with running water and electricity. It therefore fits the definition of a barrio, which has a legal status in regard to land tenure and access to basic infrastructure: solid construction, sewage and electricity. The only structural difference between Fuerte Apache and Barrio Toba is the presence of ten-story apartment buildings in the former in place of small houses with yards in the latter. Nonetheless, Fuerte Apache is seen as a villa by most porteños, the media, and government authorities. The fact that Fuerte Apache continues to be stigmatized as villas, even if it does not have the infrastructural precarity of illegal shantytowns, shows that in Buenos Aires the key characteristic of a “villas” as a place is the presence of the non-white poor. This distinction between barrios (city proper) and villas do not hold for other reasons. Spatially, affluent and poor barrios and villas overlap with one another: some villas are very close to the city centre, while the wealthy have taken over the suburbs by creating gated communities. These suburbs used to be the location of the poor and now are a place of tense coexistence between different social classes. Socially, the inhabitants of villas provide necessary labour, most construction workers, domestic workers, and janitors live in the villas. Thus, the white middle class simultaneously holds stereotypes of and also develops close relations with 130  people from the villas on a daily basis, while also benefiting from paying them low wages.  The imagining of the villeros and negros can best be understood alongside the distinction of dark skinned people as “other” in Argentina. This division of bodies dates back to the colonial encounter in the 16th century when physical characteristics were used as signs to distinguish between Spanish colonizers and the indigenous colonized, the Spanish colonial regime created the legal category of “Indio” as an opposite other to the imagined civilized, modern European (see for example Mignolo 1995, Quijano 2000, Grandin 2014). During the colonial encounter, the dichotomy gave way to an array of racial categories derived from the intermingling of Spanish, indigenous and African populations. In colonial times the category negro meant specifically the Afro-descendent population; this population was associated with the position of being slaves, and were thus distinguished from the Indios whom Spanish colonizers in some cases recognized as other nations. While the slavery of people of African origin was abolished in 1813, indigenous populations were not regarded as colonized until the late 1910s. During the state formation process, between 1880 and 1920 the term negro and oscuro started to be avoided. Afro-descendent and indigenous populations were subjected to a process of invisibilization through the assumption that a new Argentinean race was being made out of the dissolution of the non-whites into a white European immigrant majority (Ko 2009). Darkness was therefore only named to project its disappearance through racial mixing. There was also an assumption that through education and assimilation to European culture, indigenous and Afro-descendants would evolve to eventually turn into white Argentineans.  In the nineteenth century, Domingo F. Sarmiento, an elite writer and later president participating in Argentina’s nation-building process explained the country’s lack of modernity through the dichotomy between civilization and barbarism. While he linked civilization to the 131  culture, science, and progress of white Europeans, barbarism was linked to indigenous and criollo (mixed race) irrationality, chaos and violence (see Sarmiento 1966, Ko 2009). The presence of the latter thus hindered the development of the former. From this analysis, Sarmiento defined a social engineering project, which aimed to create a white Argentinean population through European immigration. The white population would replace and transform the unruly criollos, Afro-descendent populations, and Indigenous People, and this would modernize the country through a process of “whitening”.  The distinction between a population that has the right to be taken care of and others whose life does not count and for whose well-being the state institutions are not accountable is what Foucault identifies as a biopolitical power, one that creates a population that has to be regulated against its own “abnormalities.” Internal others, as enemy and as disease, threaten the well-being of the “normal” population (Foucault 2003). Argentina’s population had to be regulated against its own abnormalities, and defended against its “barbaric” internal others, which had non-white skin and were seen as behaving in an uncivilized manner. Over the next century, racial divisions were rearticulated, but also veiled. With the arrival of over 6 million European immigrants there was an assumption that Argentina’s population was on the path to becoming homogenously white (Bailey and Miguéz, 2003). The category of whiteness was widened to include a variety of groups, while erasing the notion of race as a form of classification (Alberto and Elena 2015). Because an indigenous person with “education” was considered a citizen and no longer an “Indian”, race supposedly did not matter anymore. However, being non-white and not adhering to European “civilized” habits still implied being an “other,” and white middle classes used this distinction to secure their own newly achieved status. All forms of difference in this period were taken as a threat to the life and prosperity of the 132  unified political body constituting the state – that is, of white Argentineans. While there was no open institutionalized racial distinction, there were for example no laws about miscegenation preventing interracial marriage; this racial logic materialized in subtler ways such as strict regulations over rent in Buenos Aires that prevented anyone from outside the city from renting an apartment in downtown. The idea of decencia, decency, which Adamovsky identifies as a central trope in the making of a middle class identity, can be regarded as an attempt to regulate interracial sociality where negros would not be “decent” enough to create links of solidarity with the white middle class (2009).   While whiteness had long been a component of elite identification, it became a component of larger identification with the constitution of the middle class, starting in the early twentieth century. According to Adamovsky (2009) the formation of this identity that had a racial component was motorized by elite political leaders as a way to coopt the middle sector of shop owners and professionals against the popular insurgencies such as the Semana Trágica, a series of anarchist riots in Buenos Aires in 1919. The implication of this analysis is that elites sought to create a class and racial separation by identifying this middle sector as white middle class, and distinguish it from a dark skinned popular sector. While the elements associated with this racial distinction have since changed and been put in tension, this racial distinction continues to be a central force in the organization of social inclusion and exclusion in Argentina.  The category “negro” became blurred in the official discourse during the ninetieth century when it was never an institutional category, and even during Peronism, official discourses avoided the categorization. However, starting in the 1940s, the term “negro” re-emerged in common discourse to name not only the Afro-argentine populations but also the larger social group of non-whites. With the consolidation of an urban working class and the emergence of 133  Peronism, elite and middle classes saw their power being challenged. They reacted by identifying rural migration as an aluvión zoologico, a zoological flood that was invading the city from the rural areas (Ratier 1972:31-32). Elites also called these rural to urban migrants cabecitas negras (little dark heads), and then just negros (black) (Ratier 1972, Adamovsky 2012b). These categories were developed in the cities and expanded to the rest of the country, also referring to a regional difference: “whites” were urban and from the big cities in the centre of the country, while the rural areas were defined as non-white. Negro therefore became a generic signifier to name the entire non-white and mixed race in Argentina’s major cities. When rural internal migrants arrived in Buenos Aires the spatialization of racial categories was being transgressed.  Rural immigrants arriving in Buenos Aires in the 1950s and 1960s were peasants looking for jobs, in many cases after being displaced from their lands, and attracted by the high demand for manual workers in the rapidly expanding industrial sector. “Negro” thus resulted from the proximity in the city between groups that wanted to distinguish themselves from the rural migrants. Elites and sectors of the middle class wanted to feel as if they lived in a European city and identifying the others as “negros” was part of the effort the elites made to restrict the access of dark-skinned people to white Buenos Aires. This was done as an informal racialization, since state institutions avoided any official racial classification and just assumed that Argentina had become white. However, while the emerging middle class self-identified as white along with the elites, both groups separated from “the people”, racialized by default as non-white (Adamovsky 2009).  While military governments in the 1960s and 1970s attempted to stop the centrality of the (negros) peronistas in the political sphere, negro was not explicitly articulated in these dictatorships’ discourse. “Peronistas” (peronists) and “subversivos” (insurgents, left-wing, 134  guerrilla fighters) became the abnormality to be suppressed with state violence. Among subversivos skin color was not a significant marker as many sectors of the white middle class joined guerrilla movements and were thus part of these “other”. But interestingly Peronist militants occasionally called each other “negros” regardless of phenotype and class as a way to strengthen their sense of belonging to “the people.”  During the 1980s, with the return to democracy and in the context of economic crises, discourses linking villas and negros with criminality spread. With the arrival of new immigrants from Latin American countries, hegemonic perceptions generated a new chain of meanings connecting villas, negros, and supposedly “illegal” and “out of control” immigration with crime and violence that threatened the white elites and middle class. These associations of non-whiteness with crime and the consequent segregation were not unlike global processes of criminalization of non-whites across the Americas (see Goldberg 1993 on urban racial segregation in the US). In the 1990s, the villas gradually became the object of unprecedented forms of violent policing, a process that has since only deepened.  Paradoxically, for a long time the social sciences in Argentina regarded the study of race in the country as a topic not relevant for investigation. The common-sense affirmation that “there is no racism in Argentina” was echoed in the formation of disciplinary subfields that have focused primarily on class and ethnicity. With the exception of Ratier’s (1972) study of the anti-Peronist racism of the 1940s and 1950s, only recently has racial distinction in Argentina emerged as a problem suitable for study (among others Briones 1998, Segato 2007, Ko 2009, Adamovsky 2013, Alberto and Elena 2015, Gordillo 2015). Recognizing the formative power of race in Argentina, I now return to my considerations of the Toba experience in Buenos Aires.  135  How the Toba Became “Negros Villeros”: Race in the City One morning during his first days in the city in the early 1990s, and after running some errands downtown, Victor decided to explore the surroundings of the train station. After walking for a few minutes, he decided to stop and take a break. As he used to do in the Chaco when he went to town, he sat on a doorstep to rest. He looked around, observing the city, the people walking on the street, the big houses. All of a sudden a policeman approached him and asked: “Are you about to get into trouble?” Victor replied that he was just resting. The policeman insisted: “Do you come from the villas?” When he replied that he did, the officer asked for his identity document and threatened to take him to the police station for a background check. When Victor showed his ID and explained he had recently arrived from the Chaco, the policeman relaxed and changed his attitude. He explained to Victor why he should not sit on doorsteps: “You look suspicious, like you are planning to rob the house over there. You look like a thief.” He ended up saying: “You cannot stop and sit on the street. You need to keep on walking.” From that moment on, Victor learned that, unlike in the Chaco, in the city he looked dangerous. To stay safe, he had to walk in a specific way, never stopping, having a defined direction, without looking at people or houses. He also learned he had to keep his ID on him at all times.  As we commuted on a bus together, Julio told me about one of the first times he and two other men were invited to play at a music festival in downtown Buenos Aires. It was easy to find their way to the venue, taking first a train and then a bus. After they played, they decided to watch the rest of the performances. They were enjoying the event so much that the time passed and they stayed until the very end when the organizers were closing up. It was past 1:00 am when they said good-bye and left. When they arrived at the bus stop, someone told them the bus would not come until the morning. They had no way to get back home as everyone at the festival had left, 136  so they decided to ask for a remise (private taxi) in an agency nearby. When they got to the office a man told them through the window that no car could take them. He explained frankly: “We don’t know you, and you could rob the driver”. With no other option, they went back to the bus stop and slept on the floor for four hours until the bus came. From then on, they never stayed in the city past midnight. Andrea has always sold handicrafts since she came to Buenos Aires. When she first arrived, she sold handicrafts by going door-to-door in middle-class residential neighbourhoods. She never had problems doing this. She compared her experience to that of other women in the barrio, who sometimes have problems when they beg for food and second-hand clothes in those same neighbourhoods. Policemen and other people stop them and tell them to go back home; some shopkeepers prevent them from entering their stores. Andrea explained to me that, despite her friends returning with lots of “food and stuff”, she never likes to beg because of the possibility that the police may stop her or tell her to go away. It is from fragmented anecdotes like these that I realized the experience of Tobas arriving in the city was shaped not just by living in the villas but also by the embodied experience of being perceived as potentially dangerous “negros” in the city. Only Julio explicitly told me he knew that when the police stopped him it was because they were seeing him as a “negro villero.” Even without this clarification the tensions people refer to point to the experience of visual recognition of an otherness that coincides with racialization in the city space. In my own experience, the only time I was stopped by the police was when I was walking with two Toba men, which an officer perceived as a danger to my own (female) whiteness. While Toba people were used to being racialized as an indigenous other, they did not expect to be racialized in this way. All the stories they had heard from other Tobas living in Buenos 137  Aires were about the trains and the parks, the abundance of jobs, with no mention of the villas and the fact that in Buenos Aires they would be racialized as negros. Without any prior verbal communication, these Toba men and women were marked as being out of place in the city, their physical appearance marking them as unusual city dwellers and potentially dangerous “others”. Policemen, business owners, their employers, and private residents shared this perception, showing how these ideas are disseminated across social groups.60 In the city centre, Tobas’ bodies were read as a threat to the law, and to the security of whiteness.61 In addition, as negros the Toba’s indigeneity was diffused. There is an assumption that negros have what Segato calls a “trace of indigeneity”, an indigenous ancestor, but not an “authentic” indigeneity, one that lives under a “traditional way of life” (Raibmon 2005). Negro is an “Indian with no culture”, an Indian in the city, a former Indian (see Cadena de la 2000). If in other parts of Latin America Indigenous People in the city are seen as mestizos, in Buenos Aires the Toba are regarded as negros (see Cadena de la 2000).   In these experiences, race was also spatially constructed as the presence of Tobas in the city was linked to them living in the villas. In a self-perpetuating feedback system, Tobas ended up in the villas because they were poor and dark-skinned, and this location further reinforced their classification as negros. The “city proper” was territorialized as a site of residence and enjoyment of white civilized bodies, where negros were allowed only if they were clearly performing a certain type of job. David Theo Goldberg (1993) describes racial segregation as a                                                 60 This experience could also be a symptom of what Adamovsky presents in his history of the middle class (2009). He found that in Argentina, many people that could be economically characterized as working class assume a middle class identity nonetheless. Thus classifying a perceived poor as other could also be an action of class distinction between working class and unemployed poor.  61 The experience of white, working class immigrants arriving in the city is different from the Toba experience. I once helped a neighbour from Belorussia run some errands in the city centre. This man was as new to the city as the two Toba men I had assisted, but unlike them, he looked “very white”. The police never stopped me when I was in public spaces with him. 138  foundational principle of modern western cities. The racial city results from the constant need to redefine the other as such, and to spatially separate them from the “normal” citizens. With the end of colonization racial difference was recreated through spatial segregation, a notion developed not only on the basis of notions of violence but also around hygienist ideas that separated racial others, supposedly contaminated populations, from “normal” and healthy ones. Slums were racially defined and located in the peripheries to avoid the contamination of healthy white bodies. In the Toba’ experience, the fear that such separate spaces may be violated presented itself in the anxiety felt by the white middle class in response to the physical presence of Toba men and women, who are not seen as violent but as nonetheless dangerous, in the city.62  Spatial and embodied divisions in the city are not just an effect of political marginality but, as Goldberg argues, a form of governmentality in itself (Goldberg 1993). Racial segregation regulates access and movement in the city, marking whose bodies belong there and whose are out of place. The Toba bodies resting in the city, walking in the street at night, knocking on doors in residential neighbourhoods, were seen as spatial transgressions and as threats to the health and wellbeing of the normal population. Tobas as negros were met with a close regulation of what they did and any action outside a perceived work was interrupted and controlled. This form of power thus not only “fixed” bodies in their “right” locations, the villas, but also policed their movements. Governmental force, therefore, regulated the presence of negros in the city by directing people to choose to move and associate according to set arrangements. Victor learned it was easy to arouse the suspicions of police, and so he began to walk with his face set forward, keeping his ID always safe in his pocket. Julio learned that it was difficult for someone who lives                                                 62 I use anxiety in the sense developed by Mawani (2009) as a diffused sense of threat that, because of its unidentifiability, seems unpredictable. This is an uncertain form of fear that is regarded as beyond the control of individuals and may generate more extreme reactions (including social separation, violence, among others).  139  in the villas to return home after midnight, and so he left for home early. Andrea did not like taking the risk of being harassed, and so she carefully regulated her actions inside of residential neighbourhoods, choosing acceptable activities such as selling handicrafts, over “riskier” behaviours such as begging. If in the Chaco the Toba were also racialized as an indigenous “other”, this alterity did not usually generate fear.63 Being seen as dangerous was therefore a new experience for them, and became central to their experience of navigating the urban space.  Territorialization and a regulation of movement, however, are not enough to stop or erase the negros and the villas from the space of a white Buenos Aires. Villas spread close to the most high-end neighbourhoods, growing “beyond control”, and negros use the city and necessarily share spaces with the white middle class. The villas not only provide cheap labour but also “feed” popular culture. For example, cumbia villera, a genre of cumbia music specifically played by people in the villas, has become a popular style that often animates the weddings of the upper classes. The villas are an inevitable part of the city and are places from where alternative forms of urban life are developed. They were also the central place from which the Tobas’ experienced life in the city for many years. This productivity acquired specific dimensions during Peronism.   Living in Villas Under Peronism. Affective Engagements  During the first period of arrival of Toba people in Buenos Aires, negro as a category was associated with manual work, unionism, and Peronism. Peronism was a populist political movement named after President Juan Domingo Perón (1946- 1955), who extended worker’s                                                 63 In the Chaco Toba bodies are part of a typology that distinguishes aborígenes (“Indigenous People”), criollos (mixed race rural population) and whites (of European descent). In the Chaco being recognized as aborígenes implied being the poorest of the poor and regarded as backwards, lazy, deceitful, dependent on state assistance, among others. Being seen as violent and criminals was not a part of this categorization.  140  rights, promoted lower class access to services, and emerged as an anti-elitist, anti-European social and cultural force (James 1988, Elena 2011). While it spread to other social sectors later on, the urban and industrial manual workers, organized into unions, were the central force supporting Peronism. Therefore at the time when the first Toba people arrived in the city, internal migration, the emergence of villas, the expansion of an industrial working class, and Peronism were tightly interconnected.64 While Peronism did not address its supporters as negros, the Buenos Aires elites and sectors of the middle class connected Peronist supporters with the “cabecitas negras”, and with what earlier Sarmiento had characterized as the barbaric other (Ratier 1972, Ko 2009, Elena 2011). Negros peronistas were seen by anti-peronists as people of rural origin, mixed race, and who blindly followed a political leader who manipulated them with his charisma in an authoritarian political project. For elites and sectors of the middle class the negros peronistas presented a direct threat. The term “negro peronista,” while not used by Perón and Peronist officials, also became a marker of self-identification among Perón’s followers. After the 1955 military coup overthrew Perón and Peronism was banned as a political party, peronistas became associated with “subversivos” (violent dissidents). However not all peronistas were part of guerrilla movements attempting to retake power by force. Likewise, segments of the white middle class were central actors in the Peronism movement gone into clandestinely, when military government prescribed the Peronist party. Nonetheless, during the military governments of the late 1950s and 1960s the villas became stigmatized as places where supposed subversivos were hiding. This was another reason why they put so much effort into evicting the villas (Blaunstein                                                 64 Borges and Bioy Casares under the pseudonym Bustos Domecq, paradigmatically presented these negative images of negros peronistas in the short story La fiesta del Monstruo (1968). 141  2006).  While the Toba now in the barrio do not identify as Peronistas, in the villas and during this period they became inevitably entangled with this movement. If in the city they were seen as negros, their neighbours in the villas regarded them as fellow villeros and workers, and thus potential Peronistas. Lorenzo was the first person now in the Barrio Toba to arrive in Buenos Aires. Before settling in Buenos Aires for good in 1960, Lorenzo had spent several months in the city between 1954 and 1955. Lorenzo’s narrative about the initial time in Buenos Aires was organized as a series of spatial displacements that involved living in several villas. He arrived in a villas located very close to the Port called Isla Maciel. He was relocated at the Hotel de los Inmigrantes65 because of a fire, and a few months later he moved out of the hotel and rented a shack in Dock Sud, another villas beside Isla Maciel, on the border between the city of Buenos Aires and greater Buenos Aires.  When Lorenzo returned to Buenos Aires five years later he went directly to Dock Sud and rented a place there. After a year, Lorenzo was able to buy a small wooden shack there. In the late 1960s, when the military provincial government threatened to evict the villas he, along with many other people, resisted eviction. The military government agreed to give them provisional housing in Ezpeleta, a place in Southern Greater Buenos Aires farther from the Capital. He moved there in 1968, and five years later, in 1973, authorities contacted him to tell him that “modern apartment buildings” were ready for them to move in. These are the housing projects that later became known as “Fuerte Apache.”  In spite of these displacements and the negative consequences of being seen as a negro, he                                                 65 The “Hotel de los Inmigrantes” was a residence in the Port itself where all foreign immigrants arriving in Argentina were forced to stay until they got legal permission to reside in the country. Lorenzo ended up in the same place as immigrants from overseas. In the Hotel, Lorenzo made friends with other men who helped him to obtain a job in the port and to get a legal permit to work there. 142  always found a place to live in the villas, and he always had employment in the port of Buenos Aires. Regarding these relocations, Lorenzo’s memories highlight three main aspects of his experience that show that being seen as negro was not only a constraining experience. He remembers villas as places of diversity associated with the emergence of Peronism and with the experience of becoming an urban worker and also with the political experience of organizing against the eviction of his villas. In his description, he highlighted that the constitution of these collective subjects allowed him to enhance his capacities of acting in the city, and this was only possible because of the intense conviviality developed with others in the villas.  When I asked Lorenzo about his experience of Dock Sud back then, he described it with enthusiasm as a place where he met people “from all over”. He told me how when he was single, a lot of men got together every Friday night at his place. He cooked food, his friends brought wine, and they ate and played cards. One of his friends, the Correntino, played the guitar really well, and they all sang and stayed up late. Some of his close friends were men who worked with him in the port. He also remembered “Italians were good with money. They were able to move out of the villas, to [a proper] barrio really fast, some after only a year of saving”. He therefore experienced the villas as dynamic places with people coming and going, mingling, and having a good time. Lorenzo also described in detail his work in the port, his coworkers, how fiscally responsive he was and how much stronger he became by loading and unloading ships, and racing his friends while carrying the heavy loads on their shoulders just for fun.  These experiences point to the villas as places where diverse people established intense daily interactions. This is what Paul Gilroy identifies as a postcolonial conviviality, which is the spontaneous and everyday interactions (in contrast to discourses) between different races that produce an anti-racist cohabitation (2005). For Gilroy, this is an actual (rather than enunciated) 143  form of “multiculturalism” or cosmopolitanism that emerges form below and contrasts with the multiculturalism of media, political, and policy discourses. The intimacy in the villas brought together people with very different trajectories into a new life in common. Because of this shared conviviality in some moments people were affected in the same manner and came together.  One of the most intense experiences Lorenzo lived upon his first arrival to the city in 195566 was the following. One afternoon Lorenzo was drinking mate with a friend when a group of people came to look for them to join a rally to see Perón.67 The friends inviting them were animated, had a banner and invited Lorenzo and his friend to carry it. Lorenzo and his friend got enthusiastic and joined. They walked through the port and into the city and joined more and more groups “Oh, how many people I could not believe!!” When they reached the Plaza de Mayo (next to the presidential house) it was harder to advance further. They pushed against other people and made a space for themselves at one side of the plaza. Then Perón came out to the balcony: “Everyone cheered, we could see him, we were so happy!!!”68 Notably, Lorenzo denied being Peronist, but his account indicates that a Peronist rally was too interesting for him to pass up. He and his friend felt animated enough to stand up and walk to the plaza; they pushed other people to get a good spot to see Perón and shared the joy when they finally saw him come out to                                                 66 In 1955 Peron’s second presidency was violently interrupted by the military coop self-proclaimed as Revolución Libertadora (“Emancipating Revolution”). Military officers took power of the presidential palace and air bombed Peronist supporters regrouped in Plaza de Mayo. Lorenzo also remembers this event and the way he escaped the bombings that day as he was able to board a last boat taking him from downtown Buenos Aires to Dock Sud on the other shore of the Riachuelo river. He had a very clear understanding of the political event and the bombings as part of the overthrough of Perón. 67 Lorenzo knew who Peron was as this was his second presidency, and according to his accounts of the first trip to Buenos Aires back in 1955 all Buenos Aires was permeated with signs of Peronism, such as hearing Peronist songs. 68 On another occasion, Lorenzo vividly narrated the arrival of the boats with immigrants to the Hotel when people where received with the Peronist march. “The people were escaping wars and famine in Europe” At that point he sang the whole Peronist march to me. I was surprised to see he knew all the lyrics in spite of self-recognizing as “not a Peronist”. Furthermore, in this account he was interestingly showing that in the mid 1950s whites were poor Europeans escaping war and living in the same place in the city as Toba families did. The racial categories were thus not developed over a pre-existing class divisions but being employed in order to generate this class differentiation. 144  the balcony. Marching to the plaza was so exiting that they felt like they needed to join and walk to downtown Buenos Aires.  This experience can thus be understood as one of joining a collective body. One of the transformations of Peronism was the centrality that the working class assumed during this period, a class that until then had been ushered to the social and spatial margins (see James 1988). During the rally, the collective body of what the white elites saw as “negros Peronistas” literally took over the centre of the city. The rally of negros Peronistas challenged the spatial segregation of the negros to the villas. Ten years earlier, on a now commemorated date when a huge mass of people marched to the Plaza de Mayo (the park facing the presidential palace) to ask for Peron’s freedom after being put in jail,69 a photographer of the time shot a now famous image of Peron followers sitting on a European-style water fountain in the park, with their shoes off and their feet in the water. This image indicates that the photographer saw this presence of the Peronist rally as a disruption in the city. Using the fountain to rest sweaty feet needed to be recorded as an indication of peronistas’ uncivilized use of a Europeanized public space. From then on the rallies of negros peronistas such as the one Lorenzo joined generated similar reactions. The demonstrations prevented the elites and middle classes from feeling they were living in a “white” European city (Gordillo 2015), and further challenged their control over the city space. The excitement of Lorenzo can therefore be understood as part of the collective joy of taking over the centre of the city, by rallying together, occupying the central spaces of the white Argentina and giving them new uses.                                                   69 This march was a year earlier of Peron’s first time election as a president, when he was holding the roles of vice-president and minister of labour the role in which he gained the support of unions. He was put in jail because of a dispute with a high command military officer in an attempt to prevent his candidacy as a president. The mass protest generated his release. A month later, Peron was running for president.   145   Figure 6: Archivo General de la Nación Argentina, Unknown author. Public Domain. In a similar way, Lorenzo remembers being part of a big port strike in 1966 that resisted the transformation of the work conditions implemented by the military government that took over that year. He explained how the government changed the pay system from one in which workers were paid per ship unloaded, to one in which they were paid per day, no matter how many ships they unloaded. Even though he showed he had a clear understanding of the reasons to strike, he distinguished himself from the union. The following segment of an interview illustrates this: Ana: Were you part of the union? Lorenzo: Me? Part of he Union? No, no.  A: But did you participate in the strikes? L: No, no I did not. The only thing I did when there was a strike is that I did not work, I joined the others. How can I work when there is a strike?  Lorenzo followed this exchange with a critique of both the military interventionists and the supposedly 50,000 new workers who were hired as strike-breakers70. In his participation in the rally and the strike Lorenzo further shows that the regulatory power of the state is always                                                 70 The number is too high, according to a Spanish newspaper the people on strike were 6000, so people hired to continue port activities were probably 5000 at the most (most likely less) (La Vanguardia, 18th of Marzo, 1966: 22). 146  limited. While people perceived as negros were pushed to the margins of the city and highly controlled in their movements, the throwntogetherness of “negros” in the villas and the experiences of conviviality such as the Friday dinners at Lorenzo´s shack literally created the space for the emergence of a powerful collective subject, even if only temporarily. This illustrates the force ironically made possible when a collective is created through attempts to regulate and limit its members.  This narrative is also indicative of an affective and political involvement rather than one based on identification. During the strike he was part of the mass of workers who stayed at home, he was not a strike-breaker; he was part of a collective action that almost completely interrupted port activities for a week (La Vanguardia 1966). However he does not identify as part of the union.  Becoming part of this collective body is different from articulating a Peronist political identity.71 Lorenzo was not striking with others because of a union’s discourse that resonated with him and made him bracket differences and stress commonalities with other workers. Rather he linked himself with other Peronists in an affective, embodied way, triggered by enthusiasm in one case, and by the shared anger and deep understanding of the new forms of exploitation that generated a sense of solidarity in the other case. In both cases the experience was made possible by his friendship with coworkers and fellow villeros. In our conversation he made it clear: how could he not be furious about this change in pay that would reduce their salaries? How could he betray his friends who worked with him in the port, with whom he spent his days working side by side? How could he ignore his friends who came over for dinner and were joining the strike                                                 71 In the Chaco and Formosa provinces, Indigenous People were incorporated into politics through Peronism but in a very different manner, they are incorporated in the 1980s, as indigenous populations and through political patronage relations. The experience of Peronism in the Chaco thus contrasts highly with mass mobilization and union politics in the city (see Iñigo Carrera. 2006, Gordillo 2008).  147  too?  These situations are thus better understood as an affective engagement in politics (Beasley-Murray 2010). Thinking of politics as affective implies tracing the motor for action and association not just in the struggles of identity and cultural articulation that become significant in a specific historical context (Hall and Grossberg 1986). Affect draws attention on the embodied associations of people that unfold in specific places and happen beyond forms of representation. Lorenzo joined the march or the strike because of the shared excitement and shared anger, and not so much because he bracketed his Toba identity to put forward an identity as a peronista and as a worker. When Tobas were thrown together with other negros in the villas, their trajectories converged with multiple others, and new forms of life in common emerged. When a collective body of negros came together, they were able to act in powerful and new ways – ways they were unable to deploy as individuals and ways that they had not anticipated.  Complementing ideas about governmental power, Lefebvre (1991) has shown that spatial practice is both the sphere of reproduction of power relations and the emergence of new forms of interacting. Parallel to an affective conception of politics that can be identified with Deleuze and his reading of Spinoza (1988), Lefebvre finds the sensing body as a place where new forms of the political can emerge (Lefebvre 1991). Doreen Massey (2005) takes this one step further to identify the intersecting trajectories of people, objects, ideas, in space as a productive force creating what she calls “spatial multiplicities”. Multiplicity is the only way space can be conceptualized, and is in space where different relationalities and histories unfold simultaneously. This multiplicity is never totally controllable, which she contends makes it a sphere of creativity where it is possible to constitute relations that are not completely regulated. Encounters in space allow new histories to emerge, and enable the constitution of collective 148  subjects with unknown capacities of action (to rephrase Spinoza: nobody knows what many bodies can do when they come together as one). Because power relations can never anticipate the result of encounters in space they can never fully control what unfolds from chance encounters in space. The tension between the governmental regulation of movement, and the unexpected encounters and conviviality unfolded in the villas. In the villas the Toba as negros became subjects to be controlled so that they did not hinder the well being of the white and middle-class population. On the other hand, in the villas, by accessing a job that made him incredibly strong and by coming together with “people from all over,” Lorenzo developed capacities he had never imagined. Further, as part of a collective subject as negros peronistas people from the villas, he could stop the port’s activity or momentarily take over the city centre.72 The villas, in short, were places of constitution of a new collective subject out of a multiplicity of trajectories. People arriving from different points of the country that had no previous connections, now started to share their everyday experiences and through these actions they started to have a history in common. This commonality was not just the effect of being denied the recognition as citizens (of being only a subaltern “rest”). Their life in common in the villas generated its own creative forms of relating that went beyond the denial of them as “normal” citizens. Lorenzo hosted dinners because he was interested in meeting new people, went on a march because it was exciting, and joined a strike because he was as angry as his coworkers were. Joining these collective bodies is thus affective and unfolds spatially connecting the villa and the port, the villa and downtown Buenos Aires. It was the result of encounters in specific places: the villas, the port, the street, and the city centre. In space, Indigenous People, rural migrants and Latin American immigrants were thrown together, connected and at moments                                                 72 Jon Beasley-Murray analyzes how the force of what he identifies as a multitude, is captured by Peronism (2010). 149  becoming collective subjects acting together as one collective body. In sum, Lorenzo’s narratives show that coming together with others in the villas was a moment from which new forms of action emerged.  During the 1960s, Lorenzo was also part of the villero movement that resisted evictions and fought for better infrastructure (Cravino 2012). In 1967, during the military dictatorship of Onganía, Dock Sud, the villas where Lorenzo lived, received several threats of eviction. This was part of the general military governments’ policies to “eradicate” shantytowns (Blaunstein 2006, Cravino 2012). Lorenzo joined other families and a group of university students and together they demanded new housing from the local government. He was unaware of how dangerous these political associations and claims were at the time, when any Peronist militant could be killed or thrown in jail by the dictatorship. They succeeded and the government promised that they would be relocated in temporary houses until they could get proper housing in a definite barrio. The temporary location was in the district of Ezpeleta, in south Buenos Aires Province and farther away from Capital than Dock Sud. In 1968 Lorenzo moved to the new barrio that became his and his second wife’s home for over five years. In 1973 authorities contacted them with the notice that they could move to the new permanent homes, modern apartments in Ciudadela, on the border between Capital and the Conurbano, and thus closer to the city centre. A few months later they moved to this new barrio, called then “Ejército de Los Andes.”73 It was the first time he lived in a 10 story towers, “piled up” over and underneath other people. He liked this apartment; it had everything they needed: a washroom with warm water,                                                 73 Fuerte Apache continued to grow during the late 1970s when new towers were built. The first buildings were finished at the end of 1960 during Onganía’s dictatorship. In 1973 there was a transitional democratically elected government, as Cámpora took power it allowed Peron to return. It was during the third Peron presidency that Lorenzo got his apartment. The third presidency came to an end with Peron’s death in 1974, followed by the unstable government of his wife Isabel Peron, and the subsequent 1976 dictatorship. By moving to Ejército de los Anders Lorenzo avoided a wave of evictions of villas that lefts thousands of people homeless (Cravino 2006). 150  and electricity.   Fuerte Apache: A Place of “Apache Indians” The Toba families arriving in Buenos Aires and the villas from the Chaco in the 1980s and 1990s entered a very different environment than earlier migrants like Lorenzo or Raul. Argentina at this time was struck by a series of economic crises. In the 1990s unemployment grew, reaching unprecedented levels. Neoliberal “structural adjustment policies” mandated the privatization of state services and the shrinking of government services, while the pairing of the currency with the US dollar (that made import of goods inexpensive) dismantled the national industry. People living in the villas who were formerly employed as manual workers, could only find temporary employment from now on; they were hired illegally with poor compensations and no rights. Villas had become a permanent location for the urban poor, and as rural to urban migration increased, the villas’ population escalated.74  Fuerte Apache was expanded in the 1980s with the construction of new towers (see Alarcón 2003) and grew with the informal construction of shacks around the apartment buildings. During this period, Fuerte Apache, together with the other villas in Buenos Aires, came to be associated with criminality (see Isla 2007, Isla and Míguez 2003). While unemployment generated the emergence of youth gangs in the villas and poor neighbourhoods, they were held as responsible for the city’s higher crime rates when violence and criminality was widespread across social classes. What was distinctive about Fuerte Apache is the fact that the housing project was                                                 74 The escalation of unemployment in the villas resulted in the formation of the unemployed movement, the Piqueteros. The Piqueteros originated in Northern Argentina, organizing claims around the right to work, and developed new forms of protest by blocking national roads and then the urban areas main avenues, preventing circulation (Svampa and Pereyra 2003). The state of generalized unemployment also caused young people in the villas to inescapably get involved in gangs and illegal economy (Míguez 2004). 151  identified as the most violent place in Argentina. Further, a place originally known as Ejército de los Andes came to be named “Apache Fort,” and was therefore imagined and racialized as a fortified indigenous stronghold.  Silvia, a woman who is now in her forties and grew up in Fuerte Apache, along with several people from the Barrio Toba told me about the event that led to the name change. Newspaper articles and journalistic narratives about this event confirmed these memories, even if the Toba added an important detail. In the late 1980s José de Zer, a TV journalist who was well known for sensationalist coverage of crime and supernatural events, reported a shooting between a gang and the police in the villas Ejército de los Andes75. The gang had been involved in a robbery and the police were trying to capture them. The gang regrouped to their apartments in the projects and shot at the police from the windows of an apartment on a high floor (see Camps 2000, Alarcon 2008). According to Silvia, 76 José De Zer reported:  The criminals are shooting from one of the towers making the barrio inaccessible to the police. No matter how hard they try and how many officers they involve: the criminals are shooting from a high floor, making the barrio inaccessible. It is inaccessible as a Fort! As an Apache Fort!   From that moment on, the media renamed the place “Fuerte Apache”, and most people in Buenos Aires learned about “Fuerte Apache’s dangerous criminals”.77 Interestingly, this villas was attributed to an indigenous identity but one that evokes the warlike “Apache Indians” represented in Hollywood films. Fuerte Apache has a cinematic referent in the 1970 movie named “Apache Fort, The Bronx”, referring to the African-American neighbourhood in New                                                 75 I searched for news coverage of this event with no success. All journalist chronicles agree in marking this event as giving origin to the name but give no specific date to the naming.  76 Alarcon, an investigative journalist refers to the same series of events. 77 The only existent histories of the barrio are research journalism articles by Sibila Camps 2000 and Alarcon 2008. 152  York City, and José de Zer probably had this movie in mind when he chose that name.78 If the villas were a place of negros that had “traces of indigeneity”, an Apache Fort was a place where Indians had become powerful delinquents, and thus were equated to “Apache Indians”. And “Indians” were fighting back against the “white” city. This name therefore captures white middle class fear and desires about the villas as violent places of non-whiteness. The name resonated in such a strong way that almost nobody knows the official name of the barrio.  Synthesizing the visceral fear and anxiety that the presence of the negros generated among the white middle classes (Gordillo 2015), this name associates negros with Indians assumed to be a real threat to the city. This takes us back to Foucault’s idea of racial formations as emerging from a war situation, one in which the enemy is now internal and threatens the society as a whole (2003), evoking the armed Indigenous People who threatened Buenos Aires from the Pampas in the Spanish era and in the early days of the post-independence period. These are the negro-Indians that have continuously prevented Buenos Aires from becoming a fully white city, as desired by white Argentineans (see Gordillo 2015). Fuerte Apache thus frames indigeneity in Buenos Aires within a generic-indigeneity evoked by reference to North America Indians but also affectively links it with the “trace of indigeneity” that the negros hold and that constantly haunts white Buenos Aires.   While narrating these events Silvia further added that the journalist who named the place “Fuerte Apache” knew about the Toba families, who coincidentally were living in the same building where the shooting took place. According to her, the journalist believed the Toba were protecting the gang with supernatural powers, and did it so effectively that the police could not                                                 78 The movie “Fort Apache, The Bronx” directed by Petrie (1981) is about the adventures of a policeman in this neighbourhood.  153  reach them.79 “Everyone was afraid of us and they thought we protected the gangs with a special power, that we made them invincible.” For her, in short, the press renamed the whole barrio Fuerte Apache because the Toba families living there made it inaccessible to the police. Even though this is probably a personal interpretation, this story is nonetheless very significant. It brings the negros and the Toba together back in a circular move. The Toba became negros in the villas of Buenos Aires because of their non-white phenotypes but in a process that diluted their indigeneity. But when villas were perceived as a threat the notion of indigeneity still present in the category negros came back to the front and the press gave one villa the moniker Apache Fort. At least in Silvia’s account, the presence of the Toba in the housing project turned the villas into an indigenized space imbued with an unusual power to resist the police.  Negro again becomes a category that names the non-whites. This term included not only Afro- argentine and the mixed raced rural migrants to Buenos Aires, but also included the never-erased Indigenous People, who were not only alive in a remote rural area but also continued to haunt Buenos Aires (see Briones 1998, Segato 2007, Gordillo 2015). The naming of the allegedly most violent villas in Buenos Aires as Fuerte Apache only strengthens this idea that the Indigenous People never completely vanished from the city, making this elusive, phantasmatic presence even more powerful (Lazzary 2010). Michael Taussig (1986) has argued that because colonizers in the Amazon feared Indians as terrifying savages they were always ready to unleash violence and terror on them. Likewise, after the incident that led to naming this villa “Fuerte Apache,” this place started to be depicted as one of the “most dangerous places in all Argentina” (Camps 2000). Under this logic Fuerte Apache became the object of unprecedented policing methods in the late 1990s, as we shall see.                                                 79 I did not find a press article reporting the presence of the Toba in Fuerte Apache.  154  In the 1980s a group of Toba families from the Chaco arrived in Fuerte Apache, where Lorenzo was living. They first stayed with acquaintances and soon found how difficult it was to get an apartment there. They considered occupying the premises of abandoned shops, and so they contacted Lorenzo to ask him for advice. Lorenzo remembered telling them that: “they had to act all together, a single family would get evicted. They had to occupy the premises at night and stay there for many days until the police would accept their presence." The group did as Lorenzo said and were successful. The premises had poor infrastructure: no bathroom, no running water, and no electricity. But they made the best of it, they connected their new home to electric lines, organized a kitchen and washroom. They lived for around two years in those premises until they were able to move to apartments in the same villas. Different members of these families told me how soon after they started to become integrated in the villas. Children started school and made friends. Women did the house chores alongside female neighbours and they watched over their young boys playing soccer from their balconies, (sometimes with the now internationally renowned soccer player Carlos Tevez80). Antonia remembered being pleased to send her children to a school that also had a high school. The men got jobs in construction, and many times found employment through contacts with their neighbours. Raúl remembers how convenient the location of Fuerte Apache was: he was only forty minutes away from the city centre. It was easier for him to get to work when he lived there than when he moved to the barrio Toba, which is roughly three hours away from downtown Buenos Aires. These families remember how they became part of the villas and enjoyed many aspects of living there. They too, as Lorenzo, enjoyed aspects of life in the villas and became                                                 80 Carlos Tevez played on the Manchester City team in the UK between 2007 and 2013 where he gained international recognition. 155  integrated into it.  According to Raúl, during this period their neighbours learned that they were Toba and started calling the apartments the place of “los Indios” (the Indians). He also remembered how he surprised a taxi driver when the driver asked him: “Is it true that there are Indians in this villas, as people comment?” Raúl replied it was true and then pointed to his daughters who were just joining him in the cab, “They are Indians, and I am an Indian too”. The driver was very surprised and remained silent for the rest of the trip. This interaction indicates that the Toba had a reputation as “Indians” both inside and outside the villas and that this identification generated curiosity. At the same time, the Toba were not readily identifiable as phenotypically different from other villeros, and the taxi driver had no clue he was talking to “an Indian.” Inside and outside the villas they had to clarify they were “Tobas.” Otherwise, people saw them as regular negros villeros. This is one more example of how Tobas fit into the category of negros, especially when associated with the villas. Conversely it demonstrates how indigenous bodies in Buenos Aires are read as negros rather than indigenous, where negros is an all-encompassing category to name the non-white bodies irrespective of the differences that exist among them.    Growing Up in Fuerte Apache During my fieldwork, I met younger people who grew up in Fuerte Apache and spent their childhood and teen years there. For them, growing up in Fuerte Apache was a different experience from that of both Lorenzo’s and the other people who arrived in Buenos Aires as adults. Showing similar forms of attachment that many people in Buenos Aires have toward the “barrio” (neighbourhood) where they live, for these youths Fuerte Apache was their “barrio,” and many of them did not feel a need to move out or to create an indigenous place. One of them 156  was Silvia, who spent her youth in Fuerte Apache and structured her life history around her addiction to drugs when she was a teenager. Silvia is currently an active member of the Toba church, and that is probably why she emphasized how “dark” her experience in the villas was. While she describes her adolescent period as “being lost” and a time of her life that she regrets, she also described her experiences as a series of adventures, where she got to explore the city and do things she never expected. She started taking drugs with a boyfriend in high school. When she was on drugs, she stopped worrying about everything, and forgot about all the problems in the villas and in her family. School became unbearable after this experience and so she dropped out and began to spend most of her time with her boyfriend. She referred to this period of her life as “la joda” (partying).  When she began taking drugs every day, things got more complicated. She lost a sense of time and place, and started to depend on drugs to function. As she could not always pay for the drugs, she got indebted towards drug dealers and several times they harassed her and her family. She distanced herself form her family to keep them away from trouble and moved with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend became a thief, and with time he became part of a more organized gang. At one point they were living in a very nice house in a gated community with other young couples, and the men were robbing houses of the area (which the affluent middle class use as weekend escapes). One day she realized she had no idea where that place was or how to get out of it. This sense of being literally lost is what she describes as triggering her desire to “get out of that life”. During the time of the negotiation for the barrio, she got in touch with her family. Her mother was disappointed with her use of drugs, but requested a house for her in the barrio nonetheless. Moving out of the villas and into the barrio was the turning point in her life, she stopped taking drugs and cut all relations with her previous boyfriend and friends. She depicted 157  the villas as “hell for me” and the barrio as a “calm place where I could hear the birds sing again.” She stressed how both worl