Arenal River: The recent armed conflict, the intensified process of mass tourism, and the extractive logics of hydroelectric energy have severely impacted the Arenal river’s hydrosocial relations. By tracing connections between the well-being and health of the river and the forest, and the well-being of people’s livelihoods, grass-roots community organizations, as well as researchers and land-caretakers, are responding to the territory’s rapid changes along different parts of the watershed. Traveling between multiple human and more-than-human actors and temporal-spatial scales, this research will examine such caring practices and entramados (assemblages) in their affective, ethical, political, and epistemic dimensions while attempting to understand how they have (re)configured the Arenal riverine territory.
PhD researcher: Carolina Cuevas
This PhD action-research project sets out to critically examine the manifold attempts to regenerate, repair, and protect damaged riverine socio-ecologies in contexts of multiple socio-environmental injustices. Drawing from feminist political ecology, hydrosocial territories scholarship, and feminist conceptualizations on care, the aim of this research is to understand how have riverine hydrosocial territories been (re)configured through practices of care in response to multiple modern-colonial socio-environmental transformations. Thus, recognizing the contested nature of hydrosocial territories, and traveling between multiple human and more-than-human actors and temporal-spatial scales, this research will examine caring practices in their affective, ethical, political, and epistemic dimensions while attempting to understand how they have (re)configured riverine territories. To do this, through art-based methods and counter-cartographies stemming from feminist, decolonial, and participatory action-research methodologies, this research will study the Arenal river in Colombia and the upper basin of the Guadalquivir river in Spain. Cross-pollinating these two case studies will allow to ponder how caring practices challenge the modern-colonial hegemonic human-water relations through which rivers are currently managed and governed, offering theoretical and methodological tools to support endangered riverine socio-ecologies and struggles towards intersectional socio-environmental justice.