I’m an ethnographer of contemporary Colombia interested in researching (de)militarized rural landscapes, post-conflict politics and economics, and multispecies relations of aid and care. I’m also an assistant professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University.
My book manuscript, Landscapes of Suspicion: Minefields, Peace Laboratories, and the Affective Ecologies of (Post)War in Colombia is an ethnography about a “peace laboratory”: The Pilot Project of Humanitarian Demining. Grounded in eighteen months (2015-2016) of multi-sited ethnographic research, the book follows military deminers, rebel soldiers, war-affected peasants, and humanitarian practitioners in their experimental efforts to demilitarize landscapes and forge relationships of trust and reconciliation in spaces where war was provisionally suspended.
Throughout my research, I pay special attention to the material-affective impacts of the presence and absence of improvised landmines, framing in terms of “non-explosive capacity.” I argue that landmines have the power to activate and orchestrate the emergence and consolidation of certain conditions of life (as well of death, disability, and debility) in the Colombian countryside, even when they do not explode or are physically absent, which this is the case of recently demined and so-called released rural areas. This capacity, I show, relies on the production of “landscapes of suspicion,” an environmental and political reality that characterizes the ambivalent times of armed conflict, violence-laden postwar and peace in Colombia.