Political Regimes, Extractivism and Social Movements with Maristella Svampa

Dates and Locations: 19th April 4.30pm, University of Cambridge (Alison Richard Building); 23rd April 5pm, University of Warwick paIS Building, 25th April, 6.30pm, Queen Mary University of London, School of Geography

Organised by: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), and the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Latin American Studies. IHSS Queen Mary University of London, School of Geography, Warwick Institute of Advanced Study

Speaker: Dr Maristella Svampa (National University of La Plata/CONICET Argentina)


Maristella Svampa is an Argentine sociologist, writer and researcher. She is a leading researcher for CONICET (Argentina) and Professor at La Plata National University. In 2016 she was awarded the Konext prize in Sociology. She works on topics relating to extractivism, displacement, indigenous politics, dependency, populism, social movements and alternatives to development. She has published over 20 books, including three novels. Her latest is From the Change of Era to the End of the Cycle: Extractivism and Social Movements in Latin America  (2017. Buenos Aires: Edhasa).


These public lectures will provide an assessment of the current state Latin American politics at a moment in which the progressive cycle appears to be drawing to a close. It will engage with ongoing debates in the region on the role of extractivism for development models and discuss newly emerging social movements in this context.


Details of the Queen Mary, London lecture: This will take place in the Geography Building on the Mile End Campus – click here for directions. The campus is easily accessible by public transport. Tickets are free but you must register in advance here.


Details of the Warwick Lecture: Tickets are free but you must register in advance here.


Details of the Cambridge Lecture: Dr Svampa’s talk will be part of a wider conference. Registration is required and further details can be found here.


New Spaces of Resistance in Latin America: Beyond the Pink Tide​

Date: 19 April 2018 – 20 April 2018

Venue: SG1 and SG2, Alison Richard Building,  University of Cambridge, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9D

Organised by: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), and the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Latin American Studies.

Registration: Registration is now open. Fees are £40 (full price) or £20 (student/unwaged); one-day registration is also available. Fees include lunches and refreshments. Registration closes on Sunday 15 April.

For further details see the conference website



Sam Halvorsen (Queen Mary University of London)

Grace Livingstone (University of Cambridge)

Iberia Pérez (Latin America C-MAP Fellow, Museum of Modern Art)


Keynote Speaker: Maristella Svampa (UNLP/CONICET Argentina)



This two-day conference brings together researchers across multiple disciplines interested in new spaces of resistance and protest that have opened up in Latin America in recent years. Much attention has been given to the left-wing ‘Pink Tide’ that swept across governments in much of the region, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela. During this time, grassroots actors continued to innovate with new forms of resistance that have existed in a complex relation with state actors: at times in cooperation but also through co-optation and repression. Most recently, with a (re)turn to conservative and neoliberal governments, new political coalitions and actors have had to mobilise quickly and improvise with new repertoires of contention, from the new media collectives in crisis-ridden Brazil to multi-sector alliances against the hike in utility fees in Argentina.


2018 marks a unique opportunity to reflect on new spaces of resistance in Latin America – those opened up during years of ‘post-neoliberal’ development, and those even newer spaces created in response to recent transformations in state-based politics. Bringing together leading scholars working on Latin America and resistance the conference will draw out emerging research agendas and discuss a range of questions, including:


  1. What new spaces of resistance have been opened up in Latin America and what is their broader significance?

  2. What role has art and social media played as spaces of protest?

  3. How have different tactics been shared and travelled across the region and beyond?

  4. How have social movements related to the state? What have been the benefits and costs for co-operating with progressive governments? What have state-led popular participation initiatives in Latin America achieved? What lessons can be learned?

  5. What new spaces of resistance are being created in opportunities to the recent right turn, especially in Argentina and Brazil?

  6. What broader lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of recent protests in Latin America?


Day 1 will explore the theme of ‘grassroots innovations’ and is focused around three panels: new geographies of contention; art and resistance; new digital technologies and resistance. It will end with a talk from our keynote speaker Professor Maristella Svampa (UNLP/Conicet, Argentina).


Day 2 will explore the theme of ‘social movements and the state’ and panels will consider: gender, race and violence; resisting the new right; and social movements and the state.


Conference Programme:

Day 1 – Thursday 19 April

9.00 – 9.15


9.15 – 9.30

Welcome and Introduction

9.30 – 11.00

Panel 1: New Digital Technologies and Resistance

Tanya Filer (University of Cambridge)

Maite Conde (University of Cambridge)

11.00 – 11.30


11.30 – 13.00

Panel 2: Arts and Resistance

Juan Miguel Kanai (University of Sheffield)

Erica Segre (University of Cambridge)

13.00 – 14.00


14.00 – 16.00

Panel 3: Social Movements, the State and the New Right

Ronaldo Munck (DCU/University of Liverpool)

Marcela Lopez Levy (Latin American Bureau, London)

Julia Buxton (Central European University)

16.00 – 16.30


16.30 – 18.00

Keynote: Latin American Debates – Political Regimes, Extractivism and Social Movements

Maristella Svampa (UNLP/CONICET Argentina)

Day 2 – Friday 20 April

9.30 – 11.00

Panel 4: Gender, Race and Resistance

Mo Hume (University of Glasgow)

Monica Moreno Figueroa (University of Cambridge)

11.00 – 11.30


11.30 – 13.00

Panel 5: New Geographies of Contention

Bernardo Mançano Fernandes (UNESP/CNPq)

Sarah Radcliffe (University of Cambridge)

13.00 – 14.00


14.00 – 15.00

Roundtable: New Directions of Resistance in Latin America

Julia Buxton, Fernando Calderon, Bernardo Mançano Fernandes, Ronaldo Munck, Maristella Svampa