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American Ethnologist

Histories in red: Ways of seeing lynching in Ecuador

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ABSTRACT

In this article, I examine the ways that ongoing “spectacle” lynchings in highland Ecuador have come to generate public opposition to the country's indigenous movement and the political transformations it advocates. Focusing my analysis on the recent lynching of an Afro-Ecuadorian migrant in a small Andean town, I argue for an approach to public violence that directs attention back to the body of the victim and the significations attached to it. I draw influence from studies of U.S. lynchings to ask about the relationship between visual representations of violence and constructions of political illegitimacy in rapidly transforming social formations. [violence, lynching, media, visuality, indigenous peoples, Ecuador, Latin America]

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