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Revista Colombiana de Antropología

Print version ISSN 0486-6525On-line version ISSN 2539-472X


BOCAREJO, Diana. Rivers as infrastructure: community management and water movements. Rev. colomb. antropol. [online]. 2022, vol.58, n.2, pp.51-76.  Epub May 01, 2022. ISSN 0486-6525.

The Magdalena River evokes the long history of a river intervened by canals, cement, dredges and hydroelectric power plants. It can also be understood from the connections and movements of water that allow the flow of sediments, nutrients and ensure the connectivity of ecosystems. I seek to investigate how these two visions connect and intertwine with the analysis of the local environmental management of riverside communities (fishermen and farmers) of the Magdalena River. On the one hand, management depends on and/or responds to the analysis of the causes and consequences of changes in water quality (pollution), its channel and available quantity, as an effect of infrastructure interventions. On the other hand, management should also be based on the movement patterns of water expansion that flood or dry out areas such as marshes and beaches, which define moments of greater or lesser flow and the presence of fish, among others. I argue that forms of riparian management are practices derived from diverse partial connections between people, animals and water movements, materialities and their multiple promises that transgress the opposition of these two perspectives of an infrastructural river.

Keywords : rivers as infrastructure; infrastructure and anthropology; water management; water governance.

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