Foregrounding Amazonian women through decolonial and process-relational perspectives for transdisciplinary transformation

Taís Sonetti-González, María Mancilla García*, Maria Tengö, Daiana C.M. Tourne, Fábio de Castro, Célia R.T. Futemma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The vulnerability of the Amazon has widely increased with the COVID-19 global pandemic and with the dismantlement of environmental protection policies in Brazil during the Bolsonaro administration. By contrast, local initiatives focusing on sustainable production, conservation, enhancing local people’s quality of life, and supporting a more inclusive economy have emerged throughout the region and are building resilience in face of these disruptions. They represent seeds for transformation towards more sustainable trajectories from the ground up. In this context, women play a significant role, but their actions and voices are poorly understood, studied, or even considered. In this article, we use a novel approach to engage and highlight women’s experiences by connecting decolonial and process-relational perspectives. Decolonial and process-relational thinking are closely linked in many ways, including in that they embrace difference as a mode of experiencing social-ecological relations. One particular aspect of this link is the shared focus on liminal thinking or thinking from the borders, what we call ‘betweenness’. In our decolonial praxis, we highlight women’s perspectives on their particular and diverse ways of life in the Amazon as they confront diverse pressures. To this end, we collaborated with 39 women from Santarém and neighboring towns in western Pará through participant observation, semi-structured interviews and facilitated dialogues. We discuss their perspectives on regional transformation, particularly the expansion of large-scale agribusiness around rural communities, and their understanding and responses to these changes. We reflect on the mutual learning experience resulting from the transdisciplinary engagement between researchers and collaborators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2260503
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023


  • betweenness
  • border thinking
  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Decoloniality
  • Matthew Weaver
  • process-relational
  • transformations


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