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David Graeber- Indigenous Perspectives on the Modern State

LSE SU Terra, an indigenous rights group at LSE who I have the pleasure of knowing and sometimes working with, organised Indigenous Genius week last week. There was a string of events- talks on ‘The Dread’ of New Zealand, a meeting with Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an indigenous Amazonian working with Survival International, and a panel debate on whether ‘Development=Progress?’. 

One of the most enjoyable was this- a talk from the anthropologist David Graeber on ‘Imagining Alternatives: Indigenous Perspectives on the Modern State’. We managed to record it, and you can have a listen here. It’s a chatty, entertaining talk where David upturns all sorts of logics about ‘indigenous people’, people in general, and the world’s history. 

My favourite bit being: ‘So we have these hierarchical state-like formations, urban civilisations [in North America] that collapse and two generations later, European settlers turn up and basically find these hippies; extremely egalitarian, individualistic people who want to be one with nature, and nobody puts these two things together’ 




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