Predatory economies: The Sanema and the socialist state in contemporary Amazonia

In this talk, Dr Penfield explores a rapidly transforming Amazonia, where a rapacious gold rush, a pervasive oil economy, a deepening dependence on gasoline, participation in party politics, and a set of smothering bureaucratic procedures increasingly form part of everyday life for Venezuela’s indigenous peoples like the Sanema.
Much of these new experiences emerge from their rapid incorporation into the initiatives of the socialist Venezuelan state led by the charismatic and populist president, Hugo Chavez.
This talk will reflect, in particular, on predation as an economic modality of the global economy at large, bringing to light what Sanema experiences might contribute to a new way of contending with this contemporary era of precarity, inequality, and ecological catastrophe.