|Turf wars: territory and citizenship in the contemporary state. Stanford, 2007. 299p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780804755962, $50.00. Reviewed in 2008may CHOICE.
|This study of Afro-Colombian territorial claims is fascinating on many levels. Ng'weno (African and African American studies, Univ. of California, Davis) employs agrarian struggles as a platform from which to examine the constructions of state power and citizenship regimes and the role that race and ethnic categories play in this process. The arrival of right-wing paramilitary forces and left-wing guerrillas into the community where Ng'weno conducted her study provides rich data to analyze how terror and violence alter community relations. Many Colombians assumed that anthropologists would only be interested in indigenous communities in order to search for a primordial society, providing Ng'weno with an opportunity to reflect on the goals and purpose of a politically engaged anthropological study. As a native of Kenya, Ng'weno includes intriguing insights into constructions of race in Colombia. Even though a foreigner (normally constructed as rich and white), she could pass as a member of an Afro-Colombian community. Ng'weno further examines the images and stereotypes that Afro-Colombians have of Africa. Packaging all this through a complex reading of the multiple dimensions of territory, states, and citizenship provides for a rich, rewarding book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. Becker, Truman State University
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