Dr Mariela Pena is currently a Research Associate at the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), and Teaching Fellow of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at University of Buenos Aires. After completing her PhD in Anthropology at the same University, she held a postdoctoral fellowship in her country and also a François Chevalier Fellowship at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies (MIAS), specialising in critical feminist theory and territorial/socio-ecological peasant indigenous conflicts. One of her research projects won an Aurora Humanitarian Initiative (Armenia) and Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) Prize for Latin American Social Research in 2019. Her current research interests revolve around examining the characteristics of grassroots activism among rural women, proposing that such integrated and fluid resilience strategies will allow us to identify the existence of global collective action, both environmental and feminist.
During her stay at CRASSH, Mariela will be focusing on an ongoing ethnographic study conducted in marginalised rural areas of northern Argentina, where Peasant Movement of Santiago del Estero (Mo.Ca.SE), has become a symbol of organised territorial and socio-environmental resistance against the threats posed by the implementation of the agrarian extractive model and the country’s positioning as a major exporter of genetically modified soybean. Her project is grounded in the understanding that Argentina’s local context is intertwined with a broader North-South conflict arising from the global expansion of neo-extractivism. She alleges that these processes especially impact the bodies of women, dissidences, and racialised individuals. However, they also give rise to new alliances and alternative ecological (g)local proposals.