The following interview is part of a cycle of conversations entitled Southern Anthropologies to review and think about non-hegemonic forms of discipline. This first conversation presents the academic and intellectual trajectory of José Bengoa Cabello (Valparaiso, 1945), who, from his inception in philosophy, is on a broad path to become an expert in social sciences, history and anthropology. The text highlights how Bengoa’s vital experiences are going through the various contingencies that Chile has experienced since the government of the People’s Unity, including the impact of the 1973 coup d’état and the subsequent dictatorship on his own life, as well as in the country and in the academic and social sphere. The conversation expresses their different opinions based on knowledge of the main Chilean and Latin American anthropologues and anthropologues and of the course of discipline for more than 50 years of professional practice. It also reflects its intellectual and militant link with peasant and indigenous studies and how its history has been marked not only by understanding reality from a social perspective, but also by transforming it from a strong social commitment. These pages cover different topics that illustrate not only José Bengoa’s point of view, but also reveal the senses and directions of anthropology over five decades under the careful view of some of its main players.