Macario Lacbawan

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Macario Lacbawan, doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology

My project is situated at the intersection of indigenous land rights and vulnerability. Using experiences of local indigenous communities in the Philippines, I will trace how claiming for ancestral domains involves the deployment of strategies ranging from an overt reproduction of memory to an instrumentalization of ontology. By and large, I find this project as a counterpoint to the dominant image of indigenous communities as a population that is forever at the mercy of a hegemonic state or the expanding vortex of a liberal regime. By describing how they assemble strategies to formalize their rights to ancestral domains, I wish to capture how groups under extreme vulnerability could actively mobilize and present claims to the state or, in some instances, against other indigenous communities.

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