On 1 March, Carles Jornet Aguareles, researcher at CEMiPoS, won the X Premi Investigació J.F. Mira, a prestigious Spanish award for research in the field of anthropology. His research, titled “Tatou Henua Ko Rapa Nui. Nuestra tierra, Rapa Nui: Hacia una descolonización del patrimonio” [Our Land, Rapa Nui: Towards a Decolonization of Heritage], will be published as a book at the end of this year.
The research focuses on how decolonization of cultural heritage emanated in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) after Indigenous mobilization in 2015. It analyzes the political use of cultural heritage by the Rapanui people to claim for Indigenous rights and the further creation of Ma’u Henua, an Indigenous organization currently in charge of the Rapa Nui National Park (World Heritage Site). His work also presents a critical approach to anthropological and ethnographic methodologies, in line with the notion of decolonization of methodologies, focusing on the role of Western researchers in postcolonial contexts and the need to comprehend Indigenous epistemologies within academic research. The author’s ethnographic experience within the Rapa Nui Indigenous community, between 2013 and 2016, and the elaboration of a masters’ thesis in social anthropology form the basis of this work.
More information about the award is available here.
The header image captures the moment when the Chilean president signed the concession of the Rapa Nui National Park to the Indigenous community Ma’u Henua in 2017.