Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Primary Theme: Citizenship
Secondary Theme: Materiality
This panel addresses three cases of Venezuelans encountering the state through and across their bodies, to different effects. We employ the concept of “the visceral” as articulated by Holland, Ochoa and Wazana Tompkins (2014, 395): “a phenomenological index for the logics of desire, consumption, disgust, health,
disease, belonging, and displacement that are implicit in colonial and postcolo-
nial relations.” Through this lens, we plumb the “gut feelings” of revolutionary modernity in Venezuela, replete with utopianism and contradictions as continuing discourses of race, modernity, transformation, rurality and urbanity, poverty and administration play across and through the bodies of Venezuelans. From hunger striking farmer Franklin Brito’s engagement with “ontological excess” in his protest against Bolivarian agricultural policies to the ungrateful citizenship of transformistas imagining a place for themselves through the Ministry of Citizen Participation and Mision Negra Hipolita, to street theater performances and political participation in Caracas, these cases move our discussion of Venezuelan modernity beyond political binaries and consider the enduring logics of bodies that undergird contemporary struggles in Venezuela.