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Constellations of InequalitySpace, Race, and Utopia in Brazil$
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Sean T. Mitchell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226499123

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226499437.001.0001

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Space at the Edge of the Amazon

Space at the Edge of the Amazon

(p.157) Seven Space at the Edge of the Amazon
Constellations of Inequality

Sean T. Mitchell

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 7 examines the relationship of Alcântara’s conflicts to the politics of Amazonia. The importance of the Amazon to different groups, and its flexibility as a signifier, has contributed to surprising alliances in the struggles over the spaceport: at times social movements and the military have found common ground in opposition to foreign and neoliberal projects for the spaceport; at times, proponents of civilian and military space projects have allied in opposition to the quilombo movement; and, at times, sectors of the Brazilian left and right have been aligned in opposition to imperial threats to Brazilian sovereignty at the spaceport and in the Amazon. Examining both conspiracy theories and material conflicts, the chapter that shows these alliances are all grounded in territorial nationalism—which is focused on the protection of national territory from outsiders—quite different from the developmentalist nationalism that was central to the spaceport’s founding—which was focused on the technological and economic development of the nation.

Keywords:   Brazil, Development, Nationalism, Conspiracy Theory, Amazonia, Brazilian Military

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