Megaprojects, epistemological violence and environmental conflicts in Brazil

Andréa Zhouri


Characterized as ‘social effects of large projects’, it is common across multiple national contexts that involuntary displacement and forced resettlement are dealt with by means of a managerial perspective within the ecological modernization paradigm. I understand this approach as a type of epistemological violence that acts to dismiss other forms of perceiving and being in the world. It imposes a standardization of the social fabric as conditions to make subjects legible and governable. Through the lens of epistemological violence, I focus on the logic that justifies space interventions in relation to the consequences on the ground that perpetuate environmental inequalities in Brazil. Ideas such as sustainable development have produced a colonizing effect when associated to specific processes on the ground. The analyses calls attention to the invisibility of peasants lives and knowledge systems under the licensing process of hydroelectric power plants, and how epistemological violence results in physical
violence via displacement in situ

Palabras clave

Megaprojects; epistemological violence; environmental conflicts; Brazil

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