This paper draws on an affirmative biopolitical framework to analyze the governing of young lives in education and social spaces in Cusco, Peru. We engage with Berlant’s theorization of affect and spatialization of biopolitics in order to discuss youth’s embodied experiences of alternative forms of biopolitical governance. With a case study of a grassroots, non-profit center for residential care and social and educational programs for Quechua-speaking girls, we investigate how the girls sense and respond to the center’s mediation of rural-to-urban projects of “getting ahead,” domestic work, and the tourism and hospitality sector. We reveal the center’s biopoliticization of their lives in an affective manner within the processes of postcolonial educational marginalization, precarity in urban economies, professionalization, and tourism in and beyond Cusco. Our study intends to contribute to an expanded understanding of the production of education, aid, social care, and protection spaces, and to highlight the utility of affective inquiry in examining the contested terrains of (alternative) childhoods/youth.
- domestic work
- Latin America