Ecuadorian Visions of Post-Oil Futurity


ACLS Fellowship Program


International Studies


"Ecuadorian Visions of Post-Oil Futurity" considers global ecological crises from the perspective of Ecuadorian environmentalists, conservation biologists, and indigenous movements striving for a post-oil future. This multi-sited ethnographic research explores three visions of post-oil futurity which emerged from the struggle over oil extraction in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park: first, a democratic vision articulated by “YASunidos,” a social movement that sought a moratorium on oil extraction by calling for a national “consulta popular” or popular referendum; second, a conservationist vision proposed by biologists to harness biodiversity as sustainable development alternative to oil; and third, a post-extractivist vision articulated by plurinational movements of indigenous, mestizo, and Afro-Ecuadorians working with communities on the frontlines of resource extraction who argue that “extractivismo” constitutes a form of gendered and racialized violence. This work engages the theoretical frameworks of subaltern intellectuals who propose constructing an alternative model cognizant of “Sumak Kawsay,” a Kichwa cosmovision of “living well,” and the “Rights of Nature,” which were enshrined in Ecuador’s 2008 constitution. "Ecuadorian Visions of Post-Oil Futurity" situates these Ecuadorian proposals within a global context to convince readers of their relevance for addressing contemporary ecological crises and expanding the political horizon of possibility.