University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Political Ecology Group meetings > From a white desert to a strategic resource: history of the commodification of the Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia

From a white desert to a strategic resource: history of the commodification of the Uyuni salt flat in Bolivia

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The Uyuni salt flat (Salar de Uyuni) is located in the Bolivian high plateau, is considered to be a natural wonder and the largest lithium deposit in the world. This landscape, once known as the white desert, nowadays has become a strategic space and a fiscal reserve for an ambitious and unpresented state-owned mining project for extracting and industrializing lithium carbonate. In this presentation, I seek to examine under what conditions the Uyuni salt flat has been commodified over the past 40 years (both under a neoliberal and post-neoliberal regimes), the discursive elements behind this transformation and the cultural impacts on the communities surrounding the salt flat.

Keywords: lithium, governance, post-neoliberalism

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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