Mr Emiliano Cabrera Rocha (2019)
Growing up during the rapid development in Bolivia in the 90’s, I witnessed the construction of many new roads and other infrastructure projects. I was struck to see how the benefits and burdens of these new projects were distributed differentially across the population. These observations sparked my interest in the politics of the built environment. I moved to Mexico to pursue a BA in industrial design, a training that left me well attuned to the effects that material cultures have upon our everyday lives. At Cambridge, I will research how different human communities assemble themselves with non-human actors to gain political agency. I will focus on the current mobilizations around the construction of a highway slated to cut through the Territorio Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro-Sécure (TIPNIS) in the Bolivian Amazon. I am interested in understanding how the highway infrastructure of the TIPNIS project enables (and disables) specific discourses and modes of mobilization. Underlying my academic research is a commitment to assembling knowledges that will equip a wider array of citizens to participate more fully and democratically in the politics that surround infrastructural development. In parallel with my research, I am currently developing an educational program that will bring together youth from across the Americas to study climate justice, land defence and indigenous rights in the context of the Amazon (catalyst-catalizador.org).