The AFA is pleased to announce an honorable mention for the 2018 Sylvia Forman Award to Giselle Lora for her paper, “Paramos Mas al Frente: Mobilizing Vulnerability in Kichwa Women’s Resistance,” advisor Olga Gonzaléz (Macalester College).
Lora’s paper focuses on the experiences and critical reflections of indigenous women from the Amazonian Kichwa community of Tzawata Baja. Like many indigenous communities across the world, Tzawata Baja is engaged in a Lucha, struggle, for legal rights to their ancestral lands, which are currently owned by a Canadian mining company. Based on field work conducted in the spring of 2017, Lora argues the Lucha of Tzawata Baja is as much a struggle for ancestral territory as it is an ideological struggle in which the women of Tzawata Baja have emerged as pioneers in an attempt to transform patriarchal attitudes and practices that reproduce the subordination of indigenous women. Within the Lucha, women have catalyzed their process of empowerment by gaining equal land ownership rights, changing gender relations within the household, and implementing alternative strategies of resistance to defend the community against state violence. This research is an effort to uphold the work that Tzawata Baja women have done within the Lucha, and position them at the forefront of the resistance and liberation of their community.