HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the impact of the Declaration of Barbados of 1971 in Brazilian anthropology.

Oliveira, João Pacheco de, “‘Not mere objects of study’: The Declaration of Barbados (1971) and the Remaking of Brazilian Anthropology”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2897.html

In 1971, young anthropologists who were gathered on the island of Barbados denounced the dramatic situation in which Indigenous peoples lived. With its context in the histories of social sciences in Latin America, the resulting manifesto criticized conservative governments and Christian missions, while calling for a new attitude in anthropology. Social studies should not be based solely on the theoretical agendas of hegemonic sociologies and anthropologies, it argued; they should address ethical and political issues related to processes of liberation and decolonization of Indigenous populations. In the following decades, military coups and intense political repression meant that teaching and research in the social sciences were placed under tight surveillance in various Latin American countries. Pushed to the margins of the intellectual and political scene, the Barbados message had a limited impact in many academic spaces, but there were a few exceptions – including Brazil.

In this illuminating article, Pacheco de Oliveira explores the trajectories of the political legacy of the Barbados statement in Brazilian anthropology, through lasting debates and practices around themes such as Indigenous agency, decolonization, and dialogic anthropologies. The current plurality of anthropology demands a fresh reading of the 1971 document as both a historical landmark and an inspirational statement for generations to come.

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