Biocultural resistance and re-existence through a dialogue of knowledges and citizen art in a threatened biosphere reserve

Marcelo Leguia-Cruz, Colectiva Tejer-Nos, Natalia Ortiz Cubillo, Pablo Mansilla-Quiñones, Andrés Moreira-Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Biosphere Reserves face huge challenges worldwide, especially those located in metropolitan areas such as La Campana-Peñuelas Biosphere Reserve in central Chile. As well as direct threats, such as urban sprawl and wildfires, such reserves face a less evident threat in the form of weak community engagement and awareness of the value, opportunities and challenges that the name biosphere reserve offers. Since 2015, environmental conflicts have intensified in this area of Chile, and counter-movements towards re-territorialization have arisen under the slogan “We are biosphere reserve”. This implies a deep understanding of the imbrications of the lives of humans and more-than-humans in a common territory which face common challenges with regard to the preservation of life and regenerative actions and pathways. In Chile, this local social / political / spiritual movement now converges with a national movement towards recovering sovereignty over common goods through a new Constitution. In this article, we describe a fruitful academia-community dialogue of knowledges created through a series of open-access courses, collaborative mapping, and artistic initiatives developed by citizens, such as textile-making and handcrafts using natural pigments. All of these initiatives come together within the framework of very local geopolitical actions for the preservation of the biocultural landscapes found within the biosphere reserve. We discuss these initiatives as forms of biocultural resistance and re-existence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
Issue numberSpecialIssue
StatePublished - 2021


  • Biocultural landscapes
  • Creative geographies
  • Dialogue of knowledges
  • Geohumanities


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