A Botany of Violence: 528 Years of Resistance & Resurgence (Paperback)

A Botany of Violence: 528 Years of Resistance & Resurgence By Pierre Belanger, Ghazal Jafari, Pablo Escudero Cover Image
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From germ theory to plantation logic, this book tracks 529 years of global, colonial powers in the violent search for the elusive Cinchona plant of South America.

Smuggled and stolen by the Jesuits and the Spanish Monarchy in the 17th century, transplanted by Britain and Holland in India and Indonesia during the 18th century, mapped by German explorer Alexander von Humboldt in the 19th century, weaponized by the U.S. in the 20th century, and monopolized by global pharma in the 21st century, the story of the Cinchona plant--the tree called 'fever'--literally lies at the base of modern civilization. The quest to find the cure for malaria and to control the production of quinine as seen in the corporate monopoly in Africa today also traces deep roots of territorial dispossession and labor exploitation that lie between the Amazon and the Andes. Behind the mask of heritage preservation and resource conservation, five centuries of graphic evidence put into sharp relief the uneven scales of racialized, gendered violence that are rooted in territorial injustices and underpinned by state nationalism.

Bringing the map and the territory closer together, state-sanctioned policies of resource extraction and environmental destruction are interwoven with contemporary narratives of sovereignty and self-determination. Like a geopolitical treatise, the archival activism of this book rebuilds relations with the Cinchona plant, by reclaiming territorial histories of its peoples and its ancestral lands to confront the oppressive structures of the settler-state. Overlooked, suppressed, and marginalized, the long history of resistance movements and rebellions led by Indigenous and Afro-Latina women not only reveal the settler-colonial force of the nation-state. Their contemporary resurgence in the 21st century proposes a counter-map: a way challenge to the plague of violence and weaponization of resources of the past five centuries and its transformation into a regenerative flora of the future.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781951541934
ISBN-10: 1951541936
Publisher: Goff Books
Publication Date: September 13th, 2022
Pages: 542
Language: English