Who Can Stop the Drums?: Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela

Who Can Stop the Drums?: Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela

by Sujatha Fernandes
     
 

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ISBN-10: 082234677X

ISBN-13: 9780822346777

Pub. Date: 04/02/2010

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

In this vivid ethnography of social movement in the barrios, or poor shantytowns, of Caracas, Sujatha Fernandes reveals a significant dimension of political life in Venezuela since President Hugo Chávez was elected. Fernandes traces the histories of the barrios, from the guerrilla insurgency, movements against displacement, and cultural resistance of the

Overview

In this vivid ethnography of social movement in the barrios, or poor shantytowns, of Caracas, Sujatha Fernandes reveals a significant dimension of political life in Venezuela since President Hugo Chávez was elected. Fernandes traces the histories of the barrios, from the guerrilla insurgency, movements against displacement, and cultural resistance of the 1960s and 1970s, through the debt crisis of the early 1980s and the neoliberal reforms the followed, to the Chávez period. She weaves barrio residents' life stories into her account of movements for social and economic justice. Who Can Stop the Drums? demonstrates that the transformations under way in Venezuela are shape by negotiations between the Chávez government and social movements with their own forms of historical memory, local organization, and consciousness.

Fernandes portrays everyday life and politics in the shantytowns of Caracas through accounts of community-based radio, barrio assemblies, and popular fiestas, and the many interviews she conducted with activists and government official. Most of the barrio activists she presents are Chávez supporters. They see the leftist president as someone who understands their precarious lives and has made important changes to the state system to redistribute resources. Yet they must balance receiving state resources, which are necessary to fund their community-based projects, with their desire to retain a sense of agency. Fernandes locates the struggles of the urban poor within Venezuela's transition from neoliberalism to what she calls "post-neoliberalism". She contends that in contemporary Venezuela we find a hybrid state; while Chávez is actively challenging neoliberalism, the state remains subject to the constraints and logics of global capital.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822346777
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
04/02/2010
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,160,308
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

I Individual and Collective Histories

1 Urban Political Histories 39

2 Poverty, Violence, and the Neoliberal Turn 64

3 personal Lives 87

II Everday Life and Politic

4 Culture, Identity, and Urban Movements 113

5 Barrio-Based Media and Communications 160

6 The Takeover of the Alameda Theater 212

III State-Socity Mediation

7 The New Coalitional Politics of Social Movements 233

Conclusion 257

Notes 267

Bibliography 285

Index 301

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