3. Program 3.3. Political use of space, relations of power, and identification

Researchers : O. Hoffmann, C. Poiret, C. Médard, G. Schlemmer

 Associated researcher : C. Agudelo

 Doctoral student : J. Corredor

This program examines the modalities of appropriation and control of spaces, by integrating the dimension of identity that can exist, without necessarily attributing a fundamental role to it. This should allow us to evaluate the articulations between different modes of identification and to better evaluate the processes of designation of territories and identities, the mechanisms of domination and the instruments of control, but also those of resistance to control, of subversion of imposed models and strategies of escaping or avoiding these norms. The relation between assumed ethnicity and territory is at the heart of national pacts between governments and groups that are sometimes qualified as “minorities”. Next to these approaches- which are still essential- that underline the risks of territory in terms of imposed designation, of control and imprisonment, we will seek to distinguish alternative practices of space and identity.
The ambition is indeed to understand, at the same time, the figures of resistance and those of oppression, to describe simultaneously the mechanisms of domination, submission or revolt, through a subtle analysis of spatial practices and territorial behaviors, while affirming that territorialized practices inform us about identity stances, hierarchies, and power relations between different protagonists.

These questions will be addressed through the following studies:

 Ethnic and racial dimensions of land ownership configurations in Belize (O. Hoffmann)

 Ethnicity, vote-catching measures related to land distribution and relations to territory in Kenya and Uganda (C. Médard)

 Control of commercial and cultural spaces through the ethnic presentation of security personnel in France (C. Poiret)

 Forms and age of territorialization in the definitions of identity in the Phongsaly province of Laos

 Relationship to territory in a context of exacerbated mobility: the Garifunas in Central American and the United States (C. Agudelo)

Doctoral thesis in progress: Declared ethnic belonging and access to land in Colombia (J. Corredor)