UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The underdog world Brasil, Daniel Rodrigues


Various communities, including those glossed as traditional, indigenous, subaltern, Afro-descended, tribal, or, in an older vocabulary, primitive, pre-modern, non-civilized, barbaric, and polluted, in particular contexts, can find themselves in a situation I have come to refer as underdogs. Underdog references communities which are positioned to access various levels of historical consciousness in order to mobilize their struggles against impinging, dominant, homogenizing forces. These forces are based in a colonial culture against which communities resist. The strategies of resistance both refer to their traditions and to their historic circumstances, as well as their recognition of historical fluidity which allows them the possibility of facing, encountering and rewriting their histories. This resistance has made them resilient. Ethnographic research conduced together with the quilombola community of Periperi, in the state of Piauí, Brazil; the neighbourhood of La Marina, in Matanzas, Cuba, and the Hwlitsum indigenous people, in British Columbia, Canada shows that these communities in an underdog situation cannot back off from their challenges to existing modes of power of their local and regional setting in their efforts to mitigate their status as polluted. Experiencing being in such situations throughout their trajectory has led these communities to a condition they have not been able to run from, albeit finding new ways to embrace it, in the underdog world they live in.

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