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Uncertain CitizenshipEveryday Practices of Bolivian Migrants in Chile$
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Megan Ryburn

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520298767

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520298767.001.0001

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“¿De Dónde Somos?” “¡De Bolivia!”

“¿De Dónde Somos?” “¡De Bolivia!”

(p.116) 6 “¿De Dónde Somos?” “¡De Bolivia!”
Uncertain Citizenship

Megan Ryburn

University of California Press

This chapter provides a fresh angle on migration and political citizenship—emphasis has often been placed on migrants’ formal political practices (i.e., voting) or informal political practices that fall more within Global North concepts of “the political” (i.e., union participation). The Bolivian migrants in Chile in this study did not generally engage in these kinds of practices. An account of ethnographic research with the migrant dance fraternity Corazón de Tinkus reveals, however, the ways in which performing Bolivian carnival dances in public spaces in Chile can be read as a transnational citizenship practice within the realm of the political. So, while they were excluded from political citizenship in the sense in which it is often understood, dancing in public spaces—accompanied by the cry “¿De dónde somos? ¡De Bolivia!” (“Where’re we from? From Bolivia!”)—allowed migrants a politicized means of expressing their hope of greater future inclusion across borders.

Keywords:   political citizenship, migrant politics, dance, public space

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