¡Conga No Va Carajo!
Christopher James Santiago
My dissertation concerns peasant resistance to transnational gold mines in Cajamarca, Peru. This resistance is founded on people's experiences as expressed in songs, stories, jokes, dreams and direct political actions in the face of tremendous repression. Peasant experience itself is a powerful spiritual weapon in the lucha. Through immersion in the struggle, I wish to give a glimpse of the peasants’ lives as they confront environmental catastrophe. My work seeks to represent this resistance movement from the inside, as much as is possible. It is heart wrenching to hear a woman sing a song about how she lost her son to the police mercenaries. These moments of communion reveal the spirit of the struggle and forge the bonds which energize the resistance movement. Threatened by the death of the Earth, there is now a resurgence in consciousness of the Pacha Mama ("Earth Mother" in Quechua) which I believe to be the latest manifestation of Andean messianism, the idea that the Inca and Andean gods will return to cast out the Spanish and redeem history.