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Invisible indigenous people or how Argentina has “bleached”





Since the end of the 19th century, in its will to assimilate the Amerindian Mapuche populations to its republican ideology of liberal tradition, the Argentinean state led to their invisibilisation more than their disappearance. Thus, in a context where « the Argentinean national identity » had to present an ethnic, linguistic and religious unity, the idea emerged that in Argentina: « there are no more indigenous people ». However, in the two last decades, the organizations defending the rights of the indigenous populations have proposed new forms of citizenship and have been negotiating alternative modes of social and political organization with the state.« Blanchie » in the title of my paper has a double meaning in French and refers – perhaps in a somewhat impertinent way – not only to the process of assimilation of the indigenous people in the Argentinean Nation (here it would be « whitening ») but also to the negation of the various attempts (not only military but also political, social, cultural, legal, etc) aiming at making disappear the indigenous cultures which are (almost) never regarded as reprehensible actions (here it would be « bleaching »).

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