Plurinationality and interculturality in contexts of globalization

Plurinationality and interculturality in contexts of globalization

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By Bolívar Yantalema

To speak of plurinationality and interculturality, it is necessary to start from the indisputable recognition that the hidden treasure of Ecuadorians lies in the “diversity of cultural expressions.” Because the cultures of Ecuador are experiencing an evident identity crisis, it is It is necessary to reaffirm and ratify "plurinationality", as a strategy to enhance diverse identities and build an intercultural society with long-term identity.

To speak of plurinationality and interculturality, it is necessary to start from the indisputable recognition that the hidden treasure of Ecuadorians is in the "diversity of cultural expressions", materializations and idealizations that are externalized in a different way by each of the peoples and indigenous nationalities, Afro-descendant population, mestizos, Montubios and other collectivities, thus defining that each community constitutes a culture. If we insist on speaking in the singular (culture) we are referring to an understanding of culture as synonymous with "the cultured", a denomination that in itself alone it is exclusive, elitist and homogenizing. On the basis of this recognition, it is necessary to go from enunciation in the singular to enunciation in the plural, that is, as "cultures".

In addition, although the indigenous word has been forged on the ship of the invaders, and arbitrarily imposed on the cultures of Abya Yala, but at the same time it has served as a shield for the survival and preservation of cultures after so much genocide; then, when speaking of peoples and nationalities, the word "indigenous" should be added.

In accordance with this reasoning, in the drafting of the articles on cultural issues of the new constitution, the term "cultures" should be used, as well as indigenous peoples and nationalities, Afro-descendant population, mestizos, Montubios and other collectivities, explicitly and not understood.

When talking about tangible and intangible cultural heritage, it is also necessary to ask ourselves, where are the people of ancestral knowledge or living treasures left, for example the very few speakers of the Zápara language, Wao Tededo and the holders of the knowledge of healing, cultural gastronomy , as well as the petroglyphs, the sacred sites or wakas, the other ancestral languages, among others, or is it that we have to continue to excessively deify colonial architecture as heritage, which came to demolish Andean architecture and to superimpose many of them on them Andean foundation plants ?.

On the other hand, it is not possible to promote interculturality without consolidating intraculturality or diverse cultural identities, nor can one speak only of the principles of equity and equality without including the recognition of differences, because equality can be understood as a principle of monoculturalism and monolingualism, consequently the access to employment in State institutions, higher education, among others, will follow as at present a logic of asymmetric cultural polarization, that is, "only for equals in culture and language"; However, policy 8.4: of the National Development Plan goes beyond this mode of action, by emphasizing the desire to “Improve the state management of the diversity in a democratic and participatory framework ”, in the same rigor, policies 8.2: and 8.3: specify the need to“ Promote processes of inclusion and reduction of social and cultural asymmetries of indigenous peoples and Afro-Ecuadorian communities ”and that of“ Strengthen values , customs and worldviews that promote interculturality ”. This last policy raises precisely the logic of, first, working on diverse cultural identities, as a strategy to achieve the “intercultural attitude”, and not the other way around, as many propose by stating only interculturality.

Within this context, I think it is time to critically reflect on the term or concept of interculturality, and not take as if it were the great discovery or salvation; It may be that this concept is one of many that have been developed from the vision of the so-called modernizers, to implement in a bypassed way the logic and practice of globalization, free competition, free market, exploitation; Concepts that have the character of unilateral, unidirectional, linear, elitist, exclusive, homogenizing, predatory, that bet on the maximization of profit without taking into account the person, therefore they do not have any relationship with the logic of complementarity, inclusion, binarity, forms of parity thought that only emerge as a manifestation of a community consciousness, which is totally opposed to individualistic consciousness.

In this regard, Yves Gilllemont, in the extensive prologue to the work Qapaq Ñan, La Ruta Inca de Saburía (2003-pg. 63), authored by the Andean economist, sociologist and philosopher, thinker, Javier Lajo, states that "Interculturality is a concept in which indigenous culture has to adapt to the cultural, economic and generally hegemonic domination of modernity or globalization".

In other words, "an interculturality without intraculturality is like speaking unilaterally from a macho perspective without taking women into account or speaking from a feminist perspective without taking men into account."

Due to the aforementioned reflection and because the cultures of Ecuador are experiencing an evident identity crisis, it is necessary to reaffirm and ratify the "plurinationality", as a strategy to enhance diverse identities and build an intercultural society with long-term identity, knowing that plurinationality in itself has an intercultural approach. Therefore, there can be no interculturality without plurinationality.

Furthermore, if we choose to use the statement of "diversity of cultural expressions" as an argument to hide the term and meaning of plurinationality, this does not precisely define social groups with different cultures, it is better suited to define things or expressions generated by the collectives or in this case by nationalities.

In the articles that refer to the "National System of Culture", thus expressed in the singular, it also has a homogenizing and exclusive spirit, or in turn it has the intention of favoring only the artistic sector that, being a relevant dimension of culture, is not It constitutes the only field of attention by the State, therefore it is necessary to ask, where is the diversity of cultural expressions from indigenous peoples and nationalities, Afro-descendant population, Montubios, mestizos and other groups? again they are excluded.

On the other hand, convinced that culture is the engine of sustainable development of communities, peoples and nations, as UNESCO also points out, it is necessary to determine a budgetary percentage in the Magna Carta for which to do cultural, stating a source safe and not leave ambiguous.

The National System of Cultures must have a sense of inclusion of both the rural and urban sectors, the current text has a highly urbanized trend.

Regarding cultural industries, the constitutional proposal emphasizes only as cultural products those that are generated from publishing houses and art. Where is the possibility of generating cultural products from gastronomy, medicine, crafts, clothing, art, language, wisdom, among other expressions, which are typical of each indigenous people and nationality, blacks, mestizo Montubios and other groups, or are they Will it leave open for any foreign businessman to implement his industry, usurping the knowledge of others and maximizing his profits, selling cultural products to the owners of the knowledge?

Concomitantly, it is necessary to make explicit:

• The incorporation of a fund to promote industries and cultural products in general and not only for art.

• A percentage of preference for the dissemination of Ecuadorian cultural products in all the media.

• State strategies to guarantee the consumption of national products by the Ecuadorian population, controlling the reasonable income of foreign products, without affecting the productivity of national cultural industries from the point of view of complementarity and not free competition. .

• That the proposal that makes mention of educational processes, include all the dimensions of culture, which are art, heritage and cultural diversity and are not limited only to art.

Within this scope, the proposal of the new constitution in relation to culture must at least exceed the constant statements in the National Development Plan of the government of economist Rafael Correa, in the Convention for the Defense and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions issued by UNESCO in October 2005 and other international standards.


• The constellation is beautiful with each glittering star of different sizes and orbit.

• Pachamama is beautiful with its plants, trees, animals and countless different elements with their own characteristics that complement each other.

Failure to recognize plurinationality is like asking the tree, the animals and other elements of the pachamama to shed light as if they were stars from a homogenizing vision (* Document presented at the national forum, cultural sovereignty and cultural rights in the constituent, Flacso ).

* Bolívar Yantalema is an Educator of the Puruhuá Nation and Kichwa Nationality - Reproduced by José M. Atupaña Guanolema - Bilingual Intercultural Communicator - National Directorate of Intercultural Bilingual Education of Ecuador - DINEIB

Video: José AylwinIndigenous Peoples Land and Resource Rights in Latin America: Law and Practice (June 2022).