Alternatives to the State- the march from the Kumanday and Cali-Colombia bio-territories for all the worlds

By Patricia Botero-Gómez

Youths, women, peoples fighting socio-territorial struggles and they all disobeyed the order imposed in the midst of the pandemic and took to the streets. In Colombia, the massive national strikes of young people and their mothers seems to indicate that we are starting to question the destructive structures that are ruining both the human and natural world. They also enable us to transit and re-imagine a world in which many worlds fit.

The theories of steps, Socioterritorial theories in movement (TStM), is a movement that is reformulating the questions and expanding the meanings of democracy, moving further from the configuration of alternative States to the transfiguration of alternatives to the State of things. It is working for the de-patriarchalization of the world and re-establishing the more than human relationship (Akomolafe, 2017, XXIII) .

In the face of biological and media warfare, mainly what is at stake is a war of imaginaries that mixes fictions and realities with sordid arguments. What is collapsing? How do we identify the roots and the machinery of the impoverishment and annihilation of the life of human and more than human generations? What factors would allow us to organize ourselves autonomously?

We could affirm, from the studies carried out with communities, collectives, peoples in re-existences, that generations in movement and generational movements anticipate the spirit of the time, announce new worlds while denouncing the crimes and tyranny of the global-nationalist-State, a model emptied of meaning for the peoples when it maintains the neoextractivist, alienating, patriarchal and recolonizing gear of the world. The grounded process assert the need of emergent processes that are making ® evolutions-re (in) volutions to de-patriarchalize the power taken for granted.

The gear of the system speaks in its own paradigmatic monologue that is putting any argument into the framework of growth and employment and strives to maintain the status quo. In this context, young people in Colombia are asking for more than reform. They are denouncing the political-electoral businesses that steal the educational, health, and work possibilities. Studying is useless; the networks affirm that it is easier to die young than to die old; and, in the midst of the lack of life expectancy for young people, the streak vindicates the institutional discredit that we have seen for more than three decades as apathy towards the State on the part of the new generations. In this way, their interpellations seem to make the collapse of the dominant power structures more visible than the assertion of Leviathan.

What strategies are being configured in the electoral plan of the so-called post-politics that creates chaos to become necessary in the maintenance of order and rotten power? How do we face the co-option of dreams reduced to employment and the Euro-centrist welfare state?

It is important to highlight that, despite the turn to the Latin American left between 2009-2021, no progressive government specified the aspirational contents of their plurinational constitutions and the socio-territorial state of law. The national development plans in a global network of neo-extractive politics are tools of the colonial State. The multicultural state offers the Prior-informed free consent but maintains the sale of the subsoil as a general interest over the communal.

Some practices that constitute examples of politics in everyday life have been manifested in the march, such as buying locally and directly from the peasant, without the intermediaries of the large supermarkets and monopolistic food agribusiness. This has made it possible to guarantee food autonomy and increase the urban gardens in the neighborhoods. It has also enabled people to care for the young people on the front line that the State is massacring.

The communities affirm that “employment is not the same as work”. We have seen that in the territories of life there is work and payment when there are seeds. The small-scale farming nurtures the collective and is life sustaining.

Currently, the deepest and most forceful sub-alternatives consist of returning to the earth to sow poly-cultures and to sow ourselves in eco-communities. These contemporary philosophical practices have called on us to create alternatives to the State. It can be done through weaving together peoples, collectives and our own organizations in order to find other ways to take care of ourselves and protect ourselves. It will be especially important to ally ourselves with the people who are sowing eco-communities in the middle of the destruction. They who invent new millenary worlds, weaving on a small scale , in the most intimate. This is the place where the deepest transformations take place .

It is easy, however, to make visible the insecurity produced by the ”security” offered by the State. For this reason “we all take care of each other“,”No one saves anyone, “we all save each other” . It also means that we must demolish any institutional form of subordination.

The alternatives to the State, to the electoral representative democracy, enable us to get new perspectives and inspiration. They allow us to see how the oppressive civilization model could be brought down, and with it the colonization, looting, usurpation and dispossession of local communities, indigneous peoples, and the rest of nature.

It smells of times of dictatorship in Latin America; Juvenicide, infanticide and massacres are all results of the unviable model that democracy at the ballot box has to offer. How do we create courts that do not merely judge individuals but the system that produces them? And more than that, what transformations our courts need to truly repair the damage caused by the series of historical injustices?

Communities on the margins and peripheries are precarious, usurped and dispossessed, but they also represent forms of resistance and re-existence. There are many examples of how they have managed to marginalize the system, expand the meanings of economy and democracy and move beyond an anthropocentric class society. Through networking, communal processes and through weaving together different political practices (Anzaldúa & Keating , 2002), communities continue to open the way for the politics of life and hope .

So we exist in small weavings, in different forms and in many places, in small revolutions of everyday life. You can create new possible ways of life that do not confront, but escape from the dominating powers.

We create a new place to live life not only because we do not agree with others, or because we live in many worlds and realities; but also, because there are no more ways to support the unsustainability in the relationship of subordinate power and power of domination. It is not a mere ontological conflict, but also a situation of exploitation and destruction which denies the possible existence of communities and the earth.

For these reasons, we found our way back to the ancestral word empalencarnos We flee from the power of domination to a creative power (divergent from thought, feeling and forms of life) that is able to dismantle the macrostructures of powers of domination.

There is a place to live in small tissues that do not go through the rights, disciplines, institutions and normative worlds that avoid the risk to yet again be assimilated, usurped, raped, eliminated or victimized.

These non-colonial languages come from the millenary philosophical practices of a non-colonized place that still survives and becomes contemporary by alternative ways of creating, feeling, thinking and being.

[1]As we underline it with María Campo in the Tissue of Transients in the Geographical Valley of the Cauca River and the Group of Academics and Intellectuals in Defence of the Colombian Pacific (Gaidepac).

[2] The word more than human comes from the African philosophies and the diaspora in the world, in which the divinities are found on earth, in the same way, in the philosophical practices of the Abya Yala peoples, relationships with non-human beings They are part of the ancestral resistances that survive between times and between their own maps, see for example, minga of images in the PLMT (2020). To enlarge, see the page and the documentaries in The Process of Liberation of Mother Earth in the north of Cauca, Colombia. (2020). & Aqs = chrome..69i57.2445949j0j7 & sourceid = chrome & ie = UTF-8

[3] We need to inhabit the State, and we build indicators from authonomic resistances, see Almendra (2017) and conversations in Unitierra (junio 1 y 2 de 2021).

[4] CCPLI, acronym for free and informed prior consultation and consent. From the community councils and popular demands, multiple sentences are reported that have been breached, such as T-227/17 (dispossession in the ex-garbage of Navarro), Anchicayá sentences that still in impunity.

[5] Marichuy mandate from the National Indigenous Council in the nude of electoral politics in Mexico, 2018. Unitierras Seminar (2017-current) “Beyond capitalism, patriarchy and democracy”.

[6] Weaving sentipensares, resonances from the heart of the Atis and their breeding practices in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. You talk with Nora Día,  Maestro Narciso Ramos, Jesús Ortiz, Aldo Ramos, Natalia Giraldo in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Cosmos and ancestral poetics, animating the possibilities of pluriversity in the black line.

[7] See pluriversal Politics (Escobar, 2020).

[8]Afro-descendant, black, palenqueras and raizales women in the Oriente Network, especially, mobilizations of the women of the Casa Cultural el Chontaduro in Santiago de Cali, see also,

CONPA Afro-descendant National Peace Council.

[9] As the weaving of Collectives from University of Land, Caldas and southwestern Colombian (2017) re-writings politics of life and hope.

[10] There are words that have no translation for the languages of the colonizer because in their world these realities do not exist. For example, the palenques are territories of freedom created as a place of escape-flight by Afro-descendant peoples, Palenqueros, Negroes, Raizal in times of enslavement, still updating themselves in deterritorialization in a new extractive model and collapse of civilizational ways of life.


Akomolafe, Adebayo C., Asante Molefi, Kate, & Nwoye, Augustine. 2017. We Will Tell Own Story. New York: Universal Right Publication.

Akomolafe, Adebayo C. 2017. These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home. California: North Atlantic Books.

Almendra, Vilma. 2017. Entre la emancipación y la captura. Memorias y caminos desde la lucha Nasa en Colombia. México, D. F.: Barricadas.

Anzaldúa, Gloria Evangelina, & Keating, Ana Louise. 2002. This Bridge We Call Home. Radical Visions of Transformation. New York: Routledge.

Anzaldúa, Gloria Evangelina. 1987. Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.

Escobar, Arturo. 2020. Pluriversal Politics. The Real and the Possible. Durham, Carolina del Norte, EE. UU.: Duke University Press.

Tejido de Colectivos-Unitierra escribanía por: Botero, P.,. Márquez, L., Duque, L., Pillimué, L. Rojas, S. (2017). Políticas de la esperanza: políticas de vida-políticas poéticas más acá del capitalismo y el estado. En: Encina, J. Autogestión Autonomía e Interdependencia. Construyendo colectivamente lo común en el disenso. Autonomias, autogestión e independencias. Sevilla: Volapük. pp: 345-377


Patricia Botero-Gómez:Patricia is an academic and researcher of socioterritorial movements and collective action at Universidad de Manizales in Colombia. She writes collective biographies with persons and communities in resistances