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Voice and Nation in Plurinational Bolivia

Voice and Nation in Plurinational Bolivia


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About the Book

Offering ethnographic accounts of Aymara language media activism in Bolivia during the presidency of Evo Morales (2006-2019), this book draws on research conducted among Aymara language radio broadcasters, hip hop artists, and community members during a period of radical social change and Indigenous political resurgence (pachakuti) in South America's most Indigenous republic.

The Plurinational Republic of Bolivia counts Aymara among its official languages, but Aymara's social status and transmission to newer generations raise concerns about whether, despite being one of the most widely spoken Indigenous languages of the Americas, the threat of language obsolescence persists. This ethnographic account of Indigenous language activism shows how Aymara media and cultural workers combat this threat by making the language audible in diverse corners of Aymara life and examines the role Indigenous multilingualism plays in Bolivian politics. Through interviews and analysis of Aymara media texts, this study shows how language professionals determine how "the voice of the people" should sound. By introducing neologisms and archaicisms to avoid mixing Aymara with Spanish, Aymara language professionals disseminate a register of dehispanicized Aymara over the airwaves. The study reveals how these language professionals approach cultivating Aymara as more than a question of linguistic competence, but also of political commitment and anti-racist practice.

Organized into two sections, one on radio and one on song, and including clear explanations and illustrations of key concepts in linguistic anthropology, this book listens to Aymara language advocacy from devout Catholics, from union militants, and from hip hop artists and fans, who hear in their language both the past and the future of Bolivia's Aymaras.

About the Author: Karl Swinehart is Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Humanities at the University of Louisville, USA.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781350324718
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Binding: Hardback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Sub Title: Aymara Radio and Song in an Age of Pachakuti
  • Width: 156 mm
  • ISBN-10: 135032471X
  • Publisher Date: 13 Jun 2024
  • Height: 234 mm
  • No of Pages: 256
  • Spine Width: 25 mm
  • Weight: 453 gr

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