Although designed to spur economic growth, many of these projects leave local people struggling against serious impoverishment and gross violations of human rights. Working from a political-ecological perspective, Anthony Oliver-Smith offers the first book to document the fight against involuntary displacement and resettlement being waged by people and communities around the world.
Increasingly over the last twenty-five years, the voices of people at the grass roots are being heard. People from many societies and cultures are taking action against development-forced displacement and resettlement (DFDR) and articulating alternatives. Taking the promise of democracy seriously, they are fighting not only for their place in the world, but also for their place at the negotiating table, where decisions affecting their well-being are made.
ANTHONY OLIVER-SMITH is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Florida. He held the Munich Re Foundation Chair of Social Vulnerability at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security 2007–2008. He has done anthropological research and consultation on issues relating to involuntary resettlement, as well as the impacts of natural and technological disasters, in Peru, Honduras, India, Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, Japan, and the United States since the 1970s.
For Deep Down Dark, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales. These thirty-three men came to think of the mine, a cavern inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, as a kind of coffin, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer. Even while still buried, they all agreed that if by some miracle any of them escaped alive, they would share their story only collectively. Héctor Tobar was the person they chose to hear, and now to tell, that story.
The result is a masterwork or narrative journalism—a riveting, at times shocking, emotionally textured account of a singular human event. A New York Times bestseller, Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.