Navigating shifting waters: Subjectivity, oil extraction, and Urarina territorial strategies in the Peruvian Amazon

Luis M. Andueza*, Margarita del Águila Villacorta, Lydia E.S. Cole, Althea L. Davies, Emanuele Fabiano, Euridice N. Honorio Coronado, Nina Laurie, Ian T. Lawson, Manuel Martín Brañas, Wendy Mozombite Ruíz, Cecilia Núñez Pérez, Katherine H. Roucoux, Charlotte Wheeler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the relationships between extractive infrastructure, changing territorial strategies, and contemporary processes of subject formation among the Urarina, an indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. We first introduce the uneven and combined character of oil extraction in the Loreto region in north-eastern Peru, and how its racialised spatial contradictions are expressed in the ethnopolitical field that gives political form to regional extractive operations. The paper goes on to analyse the case of the Urarina people in the Chambira river basin, their particular place in the geography of extraction, and the case of the community of Nueva Union. We examine contemporary processes of subject formation in the community, which combine radical transformations in the role of money, territorial strategies, use and valuation of the environment, and changes in political structure, in non-linear ways. The paper closes by examining how the case of the community of Nueva Union sheds light on broader dynamics of subject formation, localised relations to the environment, and extraction as they play out in contemporary indigenous Amazonia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103867
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Amazonia
  • Extractivism
  • Indigenous territories
  • Peru
  • Subjectivity
  • Urarina

Cite this