Decolonizing ecological knowledge: transdisciplinary ecology, place making and cognitive justice in the Andes

Boillat, Sébastien-Pierre (2020). Decolonizing ecological knowledge: transdisciplinary ecology, place making and cognitive justice in the Andes In: Sarmiento, Fausto O.; Frolich, Larry M. (eds.) The Elgar Companion to Geography, Transdisciplinarity and Sustainability (pp. 307-319). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing 10.4337/9781786430106.00028

[img] Text
2020_Boillat_Chapter_Handbook_Sarmiento_Frolich.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (246kB) | Request a copy

This chapter explores the concept of place interpreted from ecological knowledge and religious practices of rural indigenous people found from southern Peru to Bolivia and northern Chile and Argentina. Based on literature from this area as well as on field observations from Bolivia, I highlight the evidence of a culturally specific, widely shared and persistent concept of place. Such concept simultaneously considers the place as a living, social being with agency and as the target of ritual offerings, and as a spatial container of ecological knowledge, and individual and collective memory. This apparently dual conceptualization and practical use challenges the division of the profane and the sacred, the common and the proper and the living and the non-living and has profound implications for thinking and building sustainability from a transdisciplinary perspective. It nevertheless also represents an opportunity to re-think ecosystems from a physically and ontically open perspective. To enable this new perspective, ontological options underpinning different forms of ecological knowledge have to be made explicit and correctly interpreted.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL


Boillat, Sébastien-Pierre0000-0002-8035-6335;
Sarmiento, Fausto O. and
Frolich, Larry M.


G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography




Edward Elgar Publishing




Sébastien-Pierre Boillat

Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2024 15:04

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2024 10:47

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback