I am broadly interested in how changing political and economic formations shape the social and subjective lives of people living in marginalized urban settings in Latin America. My doctoral work concerns the proliferation of migrant squatter settlements or ‘encampments’ in the peripheries of Antofagasta, Chile’s mining capital. Composed predominantly of Afro-descendant and indigenous migrants from poor and violent regions in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, these settlements occupy zones designated by the Chilean state as ‘high risk’ given the presence of privately held high-voltage power lines and water pipelines. I seek to understand how contemporary public-private regional state initiatives to govern, contain, and eventually ‘overcome’ squatter settlements shape encampment life.
Prior to my doctoral work, I earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Psychology from UC Berkeley and made an illustrated documentary film in Easter Island, Chile, based on my undergraduate thesis work. I also pursued a doctoral project on Christian addiction treatment ministries in squatter settlements in Peru.