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Stuck on a Muddy Road: Frictions of Mobility amongst Urban Toba in Northern Argentina
Ana Vivaldi
a a

PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Available online: 03 Apr 2012

To cite this article: Ana Vivaldi (2011): Stuck on a Muddy Road: Frictions of Mobility amongst Urban Toba in Northern Argentina, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 18:6, 599-619 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2011.672860

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Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 18:599619, 2011 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1070-289X print / 1547-3384 online DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2011.672860

Stuck on a Muddy Road: Frictions of Mobility amongst Urban Toba in Northern Argentina
Ana Vivaldi
PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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This article explores how the Toba, an indigenous group in the North of Argentina, shape places and an urban subjectivity in the frictions of their mobility between villages, the urban barrio (neighborhood), and the periurban bush. I argue that the experience of Toba moving to the city is better understood as frictions between the Toba desire to progress in the city, the organization of difference in space, and their multiple movements back to the villages. In addition, I analyze their contemporary hunting trips, which take urban Toba to the nearby bush, as a mobility that shapes a form of indigeneity engaged with access to both the city center and the bush. This practice confronts them with ranch owners and police but reconnects the barrio and the bush by traversing them. If frictions emerge between forces that trigger movement and forces that slow that movement down, in the frictions of mobility the Toba have at once shaped their position in the city and overowed its limits. Key Words: Spatial mobility, indigenous people, Argentina, frictions, subject formation, Chaco Region

Introduction
In April 2005 I was traveling in a bus with a group of urban Toba, members of an indigenous group from the north of Argentina. We were on our way back from an Intercultural Education meeting in a rural community in the eastern Chaco region. We left on a bus rented by an NGO, at 5:00 a.m., earlier than planned, because it had started to rain. The rain lasted only a short time, but that was enough to turn an unpaved road into deep mud, which made it almost impossible for a vehicle without four-wheel drive to pass. We made it successfully out of the rst dirt road to the nearest town only to nd out it was impossible to pass through the main road taking us back to the city, so we took an alternative road that was in better condition. The chatty and happy atmosphere ended abruptly when heavy rain started falling again. The road became more and more slippery. The bus skidded a couple of times,
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we held our breath, and the bus nally veered off the road. We were only 500 meters from the paved road. Many of the bus passengers were schoolteachers who were worried about getting home in time for work the following day. The older people, however, looked quite comfortable. Even though that place was mostly unknown to all of them, they soon started talking about the camps they used to organize during foraging trips in the bush when they were younger. We spent the night sleeping on the bus. In the morning the older Toba improvised a camp. Some of the younger Toba on the bus, who were born and raised in the city, were particularly interested in the accounts of older men as they have never gone on the hunting trips. At midday police ofcers took the bus out of the ditch and the driver was able to x the damaged parts. An hour later, after a quick trip on a paved road, everyone was home. I open my discussion with this vignette because it presents three dimensions I aim to analyze in this article: (1) the frictions created by mobility that emerge from the material conditions of the trip (Urry 2007: 79; Tsing 2005: 56); (2) mobility as a force that does not erase the importance of space but rather shapes it (Massey 2005: 119); and (3) the way movement constitutes subjectivities. In this work I refer to mobility in its spatial dimension only: I want to understand what is generated as people move from one place to the other, which are the circuits through and in which subjects are allowed to move, and what happens when people transgress this circuits (Grossberg 1992: 109). In the vignette we see that although Toba in the bus are nowadays living in the city, they have different connections to the rural spaces. While older people felt somehow comfortable making a camp, younger men born in the city and who have not visited the villages as much felt out of place. In this article I explore how the frictions of movement, such as those described in the vignette above, shape an urban Toba subjectivity and the place of an indigenous neighborhood. I argue that the experience of moving to the city is better understood as frictions between the Toba desire to participate in the city, the organization of difference in space, and the regulation of movement. The Toba offer an interesting dimension of mobility in contrast to the tendency of thinking about indigeneity in relation to well-dened territories. The Toba in the bus were living in an urban neighborhood in a city of the Chaco in the eastern area of the region, and most of the adults over thirty years old were born in rural villages. They belong to an indigenous group that was among the last to be incorporated into the Argentinean nation state. Their subordination to the state at the end of the nineteenth century meant the reduction of their territory

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where they subsisted by hunting, gathering, and shing activities; the interruption of their seasonal movements; and their forced connement to rural reservations and mission stations. From that moment on, their movement was regulated by missionaries and reservations ofcials who allowed them to leave the stations only to go to work. In the East of the region the Toba were incorporated into economic activities rst as lumbermen and in the 1940s as agricultural workers in the cotton plantations (Iigo Carrera 1983: 23). Despite these industries incorporating them as workers, within the workforce Toba were ethnically differentiated as the least skilled of all workers, and were consequently paid very low salaries, which in turn contributed to the recreation of their ethnic identication. In the 1950s and 1960s a crisis in cotton production left the Toba with no employment, living in marginal lands that could not provide them with sufcient food. Older peoples narratives explain that there was nothing to do in the villages at this time. The forms of mobility I discussmoving to the city, the travels back to the villages, being redirected to a marginal neighborhood, and mens hunting tripsare central to understanding the way the Toba have established themselves in the city. Going back to the villages establishes generational differences and also maintains an ongoing reection of what was lost and gained by moving to the city. For example, because forest food is equally valued by everyone, the ideas of rural areas as poor get inverted when urban Toba go back to the villages and experience them as sites of abundant bush and farm food. In this article I rst discuss how friction can contribute to an understanding of mobility that considers its productive and conictive dimensions. Then, I analyze the Toba arrival in the city as a form of mobility rather than a single migratory trip. Finally, I analyze the hunting trips of urban Toba, which take them to the nearby bush,1 as a mobility that shapes an urban indigeneity. This practice confronts them with ranch owners, but it connects them with the habits in the villages. Indigenous experience has not generally been related with high mobility. Indigenous groups have been described as rooted and thus the opposite of diasporic subjects (Clifford 2007: 199; Malkki 1994: 58). Indigenous groups are dened by long attachment to a locale and by violent histories of occupation (Clifford 2007: 198). But if the direct consequence of territorial loss is displacement, we can consider relocation as an intrinsic aspect of indigenous peoples shared experience. Thinking about mobility among indigenous people2 in addition to thinking about territorial expropriation and migration allows us

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to consider the experience of travel itself and not only the processes developing at the points of departure and arrival. According to Tsing, movement always implies frictions, because friction highlights that any acceleration of mobility needs to confront a force slowing it down. Anna Tsing has placed this concept at the center of her ethnographic inquiry.3 Using roads as a metaphor Tsing remarks: The ease of travel they facilitate is also a structure of connement (2005: 6). Friction points to the fact that traveling systems of domination, such as capitalist expansion, can never unfold exactly as planned: because they need to transform social relations in the place of destination, they also get transformed in this process. For some groups friction is so strong that even the possibility of moving is unthinkable; access to rapid means of transportation and communication is not available to every social subject (Massey 1994: 150, Creswell 2006: 265). Thus, if the surfaces and subjects connected in movement are never equal or alike, friction is a site of productive encounters. Mobility produces space as it transverses it. While some authors have argued for the shift of theoretical relevance from space to ows of information, people or objects (i.e., Appadurai 1996: 339), the trip described reconnects us with the fact that place is not only shaped in peoples dwelling in or recreating places but in the trajectories that transverse them (Massey 2005: 120). If places are produced in conictive social relations that create spatial tension, we can ask how mobility creates these tensions, by establishing connections, creating distance and limits between them (Gordillo 2004: 253; Grosz 2001: 114). Finally, frictions of mobility are linked with the constitution of particular subjectivities, in this case an indigenous subjectivity. I understand indigeneity as a form of subject formation, following Foucaults notion of subjectivity as that which denes capacities to act and indicates specic forms of subordination (2000: 327). In this vein, Marisol de la Cadena and Orin Starns claim that indigeneity is not just a political identity but a eld of governmentality, subjectivity, and knowledge, in which becoming indigenous is always only a possibility negotiated within political elds (2007:13). Specically, I understand indigeneity as the result of the colonial experience of an autonomous group being subordinated in its own territory (Beckett 1988: 2; Briones 1998: 157). In sum, a focus on the frictions of mobility allows us to explore how Toba experience their travel to the city and how their subjectivities as Toba from a barrio (neighborhood) are shaped as they move to other places.

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Moving and the making of an indigenous Barrio


The people from the neighborhood arrived to the city from different parts of rural eastern Chaco region, since the 1950s, and settled down at the shore of a river 10 km from the city center, inside a large rural property, with the informal consent of the owner.4 The scholarly literature highlights the economic reasons for Toba migration to the city: loss of foraging elds, demographic pressure, labor exploitation, oods and land degradation, and the mechanization of the cotton harvest (Tamagno 2001: 21; Vasquez et al. 1992: 125126). In the interviews conducted with some of the older people the early 2000s, these reasons are cited as important motivations. Their arrival, however, was almost never one single trip after which people stayed for good. Moreover, the reason for deciding to stay was explained as a desire to progresar (progress), which is not only about economic improvement but also about accessing education and state services. Rather than describing a single and unidirectional trip, migration stories reveal the multiple trajectories of peoples movement. One of the pressing moments for a person to move is when they are young and seeking to become independent from their families. At this moment many men and women in the villages found that they could not aim for a parcel of land of their own and did not have enough paid work. They would travel to visit relatives in other villages or go to nearby towns to look for work. Some people were able to travel through active engagement with the Toba evangelical church. Some people traveled to church meetings, when transportation was covered by a church organization, and sometimes they just stayed afterward. Some of these exploratory trips ended up in the cities. One man called this a period of looking for a place to be, explaining that he often felt at home in one place for some time but then when there was nothing new going on (no more work, no activity in the church, no girlfriend), he would leave. Others had stable homes in the villages but remember how during periods in which things where quiet in the rural areas they would temporarily travel to sell handicrafts in the city. One man called this period of coming and going as one in which they were ambulant, that is without a stable home. Many refer to the rst settlements in the city as camps, and describe them as temporary and precarious. In most cases, migration is not a single trip of relocation of an individual or family, but rather multiple moments of exploration of the city and some trials of urban life. To pay for the bus ticket, people would spend all the money they had earned during a harvest, or they would borrow from a relative. Once in the city, they would walk until they could nd the location

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where other Toba families were living and would stay even when they had no relatives or close friends there. It was enough to have distant acquaintances in common to receive help; Toba people, we help each other, we know that if we help someone one day he might help us in the future, a man in his fties explained to me. Thus, feelings of ethnic belonging were enough to get help from other families.5 The help was crucial, providing a place to stay in the city and nding a way to obtain informal work. Even when living in the city, Toba were recognized as indigenous people and as rural workers. A man in his fties remembered going back to rural areas for the cotton harvest or to do maintenance work. He told me how the trucks searching for harvest workers continued to look for them in the city. Even when the salaries were so low that by the end of the harvest you only got enough money to buy new pants, he would still go because he preferred that to unemployment. Thus, that initial moment was one in which the connections with the rural areas were very uid and the permanence in the city unstable. The fact that a truck arrived to pick them up points to the dependence of agroindustries on cheap indigenous labor no matter where they are located as well as their identication as a rural population (the trucks are not sent to pick up low income people identied as city population). Other men went back to the villages because they did not feel comfortable in the city. In the villages they could spend time with their family and eat food from the farm and the bush. They missed the tranquility of the villages, the silence at night, and being able to manage their time. People explained that they would buy a ticket even if it was with the last of their money, or they would hitchhike to the village. Going back to the rural communities, when they were traveling alone or with a partner, was not as hard as later, when they had children. It was these travels back that constituted a form of being indigenous in the city by maintaining relations in the village and participating in the habits of the village. A man stressed the relevance of the capacity to actualize the habits of the village when he stated that: When I had some free time I go back to my brothers home in the countryside to hunt for a few days. There I feel ne; I am able to live as the former Toba used to live. This moment of initial travels to the city shows that they had an important attachment to the rural areas because all families found it difcult to settle in the city. Economic activities in the city were mostly related to selling handicrafts, and men and women explain that they could not nd any other job. Selling handicrafts reinforced their identication as indigenous subjects, because it is an activity that allows the presence of the Toba in the city only if

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they identify as such and perform a type of work that is expected of an indigenous person. In addition, the Toba families strategy to camp all together by the side of the river allowed them to collaborate with each other, but it also restricted the possibilities of engaging with other social groups. This reinforced their recognition as indigenous people living in a semirural place in the urban peripheries. It was only in the 1970s, after twenty years of irregular occupation in the city, that the small group of families settled with some permanence and organized a land claim to the military provincial government.6 Despite the fact that the political context of a military dictatorship was contrary to the expansion of civil rights the land claim can be understood as part of the politics of reparation to indigenous populations prevailing in that moment. The context of the claim is a moment in which the national politics towards indigenous people had shifted from the discourse of incorporation (during the Peronist government of 19461955) and development (advocated by the short presidency of Arturo Frondizi 19581962) towards the discourse of historical reparation developed during the 1970s (Carrasco 2000: 32), an idea implemented through the granting of land titles to recognized communities. We can understand the success of this claim in relation to these governmental logics: incorporating indigenous people into the allegedly civilized life of a city, developing this particular population through their sedentarization, and realizing the promised historical reparation through the titling of lands. Toba families were thus given a plot of rural7 land 11 km from the city center. The spatial layout of the neighborhood contrasted with the irregular houses at the side of the river they had had before. Owning a house and a plot changed the frequency of travel to villages; it forced people to stay in the same place or to leave someone to take care of it. Even though mobility was still high, people started to have an address where they could be found. The group as a whole was contained within a clearly dened place. The creation of the neighborhood produced a new space over which state control was possible. It created a correspondence between a space and a group, by measuring and enclosing space and dening indigenous peoples as a group with clear boundaries: a barrio Toba. Subsequent waves of migration occupied the totality of the lands of the neighborhood, in particular during the economic crisis of the 1990s during which agricultural production was almost stopped. Not only the state but also the Toba participated in dening the layout of the neighborhood. A commission composed of the Toba men who organized the land claim integrated a neighborhood commission in charge of distributing plots to the new families arriving, and worked

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as representatives to the state. The commission requested a school and health station, which the provincial government created in the 1980s. However the fact that those institutions target their users as indigenous people has been an object of contention since, as for example parents complain in the school children are treated as less smart than average. The spatial layout changed with several housing projects which had particular construction style and changed the distribution of land. In sum, since its creation the barrio Toba was the object of actions to improve and urbanize it; however, that it still lacks basic urban servicesthere is no running water, electricity, or paved streetssignals it as a location not fully integrated to the city. We can consider that this rural and urban distinction, and the roads connecting a village to a city, is part of the states organization of space, in this case the provincial state. This organization of the space is also recognized by the Toba when they differentiate the villages and the barrio as they move. However, the initial travels back and forth of the Toba established a connection between the places that challenged state division and were also in contrast to the attempt of locating people in place when the neighborhood was created. Movements challenged what Liisa Malkki (1994: 61) calls sedentary metaphysics of the state, the notion that groups are attached to place and only move because of a forced situation. While initial movements of Toba to the city had no exact destination, no time frame for their stay, and involved irregular settlement on private properties, in the barrio Toba are separated from private properties, can be easily located, and can become part of state programs. The making of the barrio was a form of organization of space that redirected the Tobas movements to the margins of the city and thus positioned them socially and spatially as external to it. The place of the neighborhood became codied as indigenous, and the people living in it were dened and recreated as indigenous subjects. Likewise, movement was restricted to coming from and to the neighborhood: people became traceable. It was a process in which the provincial state delimited space to have better control over a group that was somehow outside of the law: illegally camping in private properties and with no xed address. The neighborhood itself is the result of a movement: the Toba arrival to the city and their relocation from illegal settlement to a barrio. In other words, the frictions that the Toba created by coming and going to and from the city were partially stabilized with the creation of the barrio. The tensions over Toba desire to be in the city and their social and spatial segregation can also be understood by considering the idea of progresar (to progress) as a site of contestation.

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Progresar
In this section I discuss the Toba arrival to the city as creating a specic friction: the struggle over participating in the city and spatial politics that push them to the margins of the city. Progress describes this eld of tensions: it is the reason given by the Toba for moving to the city and is used to contrast their life in the villages with the life in the neighborhood, yet it is also understood as an unnished process. The Toba recognize that they are not normal inhabitants of the city, because dominant understanding of the city excludes the indigenous people from it. I argue that this notion of progress describes a trajectory: Toba moving to the city and a struggle over the making of subjects. While the Toba want to be both indigenous people and urban dwellers, the state regards them as subjects in need of development. The main discourse organizing the arrival to the city denes the trip as a movement toward progreso (progress). Progress does not have unied meaning; rather, it is associated with different interests and particular life trajectories. If trabajo (work) is a predominant meaning of progress, access to state services and more broadly participation in the city are included too.9 One man who came to sell handicrafts explained to me that he also came to the city to be able to go to the evangelical church and send his kids to school. He explained that in the rural areas you have nothing, meaning no material belongings bought on the market, in contrast to his current life in which he has been able to buy (and here he would make a long list of objects): a frying pan, a pot, a kettle, a chair, a table, and a bed. By making this list he pointed to a different economic status and a general change of habits: Before we would sit on the oor by the re, my wife and I made handicrafts, [but then,] I got a job, my boss would teach me Spanish and how to work, my children started school. Travel to the city is viewed as a movement toward progress in its contrast to the villages. A health assistant explained to me how much she enjoyed living in the rural areas as a child and going to the bush with her grandmother. But she has not been able to go since she came to the city and became a health assistant. Creating a distance between her life in rural areas and her current situation, she explained that she could no longer go to the bush, because her clothes get dirty. In these narratives, the contrast between rural and urban is about the habits displayed in each of them and the material conditions available. The urban neighborhood is a place of progress, meaning work, the ability to buy household items, attending church, accessing education, and keeping clothes clean. Although people dene the neighborhood as a site of progress compared to life in the villages, they also see the limitations of their prior

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expectations. They defer progress to the future when they express their longing for their neighborhood to overcome deciencies in infrastructure. I wish the barrio could have paved streets . . . I want to learn how to use a computer, all that technology has to offer to my culture . . . I have that ambition to progress too. When people stay in the neighborhood, the notion of progress in the city is put into question. A new eld of friction emerges as people try to access state services, education, and work. The restrictions are experienced spatially as they attempt to use state institutions and have difculty accessing them, since, for example, the high school is identied as an intercultural education institution that grants titles which are not seen as valid by many universities as opposed to the regular high school degrees. In addition, employment is restricted to very few positions as state employees (and most of these positions are only available through political patronage relations) because the private sector does not hire them or only hires them as day workers with no formal contract. The difculty of participating in progress is generated by the dominant ideas of who can be a proper citizen: families of European origin, who are white,10 live in the center of the city, and think of themselves as modern. In this same logic barrios are a problem and indigenous are seen as people who never learn.11 This is not unlike what happens in other Latin American contexts in which the discourses of the urban as a site of the modern are still recreated in peoples imagination of the city (e.g., Goldstein 2004: 65). By stating an association between modernity, whiteness, and the city, the movement of this indigenous other becomes a problem to be managed by the state. This discourse has been prominent in the Chaco region since its colonization to the present. For example, in 1955, Miranda, a regional historian writing a governmentcommissioned ofcial history of the region who continues to be quoted in schools and by government authorities, claimed that the creation of the towns would be necessary because the [European] immigrants needed that small homeland to ease the impacts of the harsh natural environment (1955: 134). Since then an association between a population of European descent and urbanity has been reproduced by the media and in popular discourse. Therefore, the arrival of the Toba can be understood as generating frictions with this project of making a white city. These ideas materialize in social relations when, in the public space of the city center, Toba are recognized through racial and class markers as poor, indigenous people. Exemplifying this racial recognition, a middle-class volunteer from the church once explained to me that she would see indigenous women in the city center and was able to

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recognize them even when I didnt know them. I could tell they were indigenous persons from their darker complexion and the features of their faces. The idea of Toba as external to the city was reinforced in 1996 when conicts over one informal settlement of new Toba families ended in the relocation of the families, by truck, back to one rural village that they were supposedly from (La Maana, 10 February 1996: 30). It does not matter how many years these families have lived there; the Toba, along with other indigenous groups, are marked as foreign to the city. To attend to this population recognized as backward, the government encourages the church and NGOs to facilitate Toba integration to the city and modern life through specic programs. From craft education to projects of teaching hygienic habits, the programs identify the Toba as lacking knowledge, skills, and appropriate habits to be city dwellers. Progress then becomes a contested eld in which the position of the Toba in the city is literally pushed to the margins. Being indigenous shapes their chances of nding a job and a place to live, as well as their access to state institutions. It also shapes the possibilities of moving around the city and entering specic places, and it denes how these places are accessed (Grossberg 1992: 110). An example of this is when the Toba go to the citys hospital. While the doctors appointments are distributed daily on a rst come rst serve basis, Toba generally have to wait more than other people regardless of when they have arrived. I talked about this with a dentist who justied tbe practice; given that Toba are unemployed they can wait. The making of a subjectivity in which people can be simultaneously Toba and have an urban life becomes a site of struggle with an organization of space that locates real indigenous people in the rural areas and designates the Toba in the neighborhood as not ready for urban life. As Toba move to the city and desire progress, they are confronted with a market they cannot access and state institutions that grant them only restricted access; this encounter generates frictions that redirect the Toba to the margins and establish the barrio as a spatially segregated location (see Mawani 2003: 10). The neighborhood is at the same time close to the city but external to it, its location is disparate from the rest of the city, and it is marked as an indigenous ethnic enclave. The electric and water systems are not connected to the barrio; also the transport is limited. Socially it is a location of a backward group that does not belong. This can be matched with Virilios ideas of the origins of suburbs as a restriction to rural migrants to the cities. The neighborhood emerges from the resistant forces that slow the Toba movement and prevents them from entering the city (see Virilio 1986: 44). Therefore, the creation of the barrio was also a way to

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keep Toba at a distance from spaces of the white, civilized population, which characterized hegemonic discourses since the creation of the rst towns. Because the Toba experienced spatial segregation, difculty to nd employment and use state institutions, many people invert the ideas of rural villages as places of scarcity and present them as sites of abundance, especially of food from the farm, river, and forest (see Peters 2002: 395). When Toba travel back to the villages and are able to eat bush meat and honey, they return talking about the villages as a place of abundance of fresh and nutritious food (see also Gordillo 2004: 206). This ambiguity is not only about food and bush resources but extended to the way the places of village and urban neighborhood are understood. The countryside is also described as an open (with no divisions imposed by privatization of land ownership) and quiet place. Older people also associate this life with freedom to access resources and to move through the countryside with no fences. Turning space temporal, urban Toba identify the rural areas with a past of relative autonomy from exploitation and state subordination, even though this past took place before they were born. The rural areas are the places of former indigenous peoplestrong warriors and hunterswhile the neighborhood is the place of new Tobaweak, Christian, laborers, urban indigenous people (see Salamanca 2009: 156; Gordillo 2004: 71). Nowadays in the trips back to the rural villages, urban Toba value the possibility to acquire things (clothes and furniture) and to access schools and hospitals, but they emphasized the lack of jobs, uncertainty, and restlessness in the city. They therefore also produce their urban subjectivity as they are away and can contrast the life in the barrio with the possibilities in the village. As one young woman told me when we were in the village for the education encounter, here in the countryside you can have as much pumpkin as you want, in the city they charge me so much for just a small piece. But later that day she told me how her cousin had a really hard time when she was not taken to a hospital to deliver her baby. In sum, I have shown how the initial travels back and forth to the villages, along with the experience of arriving to the city, shaped a particular indigenous subjectivity in the city as exterior to the city and connected to the rural villages. The moment of creation of the neighborhood appears as an opportunity to be part of the city but ends up being an organized form of exclusion that locates Toba in space and restricts their movements. Finally, contemporary travels back to the villages strengthen the sense of how urban Toba are different: while they are marginal to the city, they are not part of the villages either. Being urban is therefore for the Toba being Toba in the neighborhood.

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Hunting in the bush


The struggle to live in the city and to access urban life has not prevented many of Toba in the barrio from actively visiting periurban bush where they forage and collect material for handicraft production. It is the older men, born in the villages, who continue to hunt while living in the barrio, a mobility that generates another eld of frictions.12 Thus, their everyday life mobility contrasts with the movements of nonpoor city dwellers living in some of the neighborhoods in or around the city center. It brings them closer to other urban poor who also hunt and collect rewood in the bush, but it keeps them at a distance as they dene their practices as indigenous. Going to the bush generates social and spatial frictions because, to hunt, men must enter privately owned properties dedicated to cattle breeding. The Toba mens trips to the bush simultaneously recreate a Toba habit of hunting, something recognized by some ranch employees and owners who give them permission to hunt in their properties; however, it also creates conict as men enter the ranches with rearms and are often accused of stealing cattle (a recurrent point of conict between big land owners and the poor in general). Toba older mens frequent trips to the periurban bush, currently located inside private properties, present a paradox: despite the violent clashes people experience with the ranch employees and the police when they go to the bush and although they are not able to make a living out of what they get from these expeditions, they still insist upon going there. I describe some aspects of the hunters experience in the bush to highlight the type of friction generated while trespassing on private property. Toba men go hunting because, as they explain, they like and miss the bush food, it is a moment of bonding among men friends, they can have relative control over the appropriation of bush resources, and it is a form of escape of tensions in the neighborhood and the city (Vivaldi 2007: 35). Condensing these ideas, a man in his forties explained that in the bush everything is quiet, you can do as you like and have time to talk with friends. He further explained that, being active in indigenous politics, sometimes he goes to the bush when he gets tired of dealing with political patrons, state institutions in the city, and development programs. On the other hand, conicts in the bush are not uncommon. Men told me they generally negotiate access with the employees of the ranches they enter. However, each hunting expedition traverses a number of different properties, making conicts unavoidable because invariably they will enter some properties without permission. People argued

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that entering the properties is not a transgression because hunting involves only free animals from the bush and not animals with an owner, such as cattle. One leader claimed that their cultural right as indigenous hunters should grant them special permission to enter the properties. Provincial legislation is ambiguous; although it grants them the right to perform their traditional practices, it does not specify how to access the places they need to do this. The hunting expeditions take a few days (from one day to a week) and always involve unplanned movement in space. As two hunters explained to me, tracking animals demands that the hunter move through the elds and cross fences. Movement is not predetermined but is not random. A man in his thirties told me: You dont hunt in just any eld. You know that in winter animals will be in the bush, in the summer in the grasslands. Bush practices generate spatial trajectories that cannot be predened but respond to particular forms of knowledge, such as tracking animals. The trajectories in the bush are dened by the way in which the practices unfold in each case: the hunters track the animals, try to avoid being seen, react to signs of danger, and strive to maintain good relations with the (supernatural) owners of the bush. Hunting trips can be described retrospectively as specic events shaped in a succession of movements, turns, interactions, and waiting periods. However, the hunters experience their movements as a series of immediate decisions they need to make to nd the animals and quietly get close to them. The hunters follow what Ingold calls waynding, a way of moving in space that does not look for essential landmarks of the terrain marked in a map, but rather takes account of all the transformations occurring as the hunters advance, to decide where and how to move (Ingold 2000: 242). Conversely, fences are related with the map that measures space and encloses it for capitalist appropriation (Lefebvre 1991: 295). Fences are markers of the transformation of space: from hunting elds that were free, to a divided space of cattle-raising, white ownership, and police control. In other words, this is a transformation from a continuous space under relative indigenous control to a space of capitalist production and state jurisdictions. There are elements that escape from these delimitations. Men explained to me that the bush and its animals are located in between the properties and are considered free, mobile, and ever-changing. Fences present a threshold for the hunters: when they cross them, they develop a special alertness. Up until they arrive to the bush, they rst travel as quickly as possible through the road, to avoid being stopped by trafc police (and interrogated about their guns). When they cross the fences, they slow down, grow silent, and move very carefully.

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They try to avoid being found, to leave any trace that may lead ranch workers to nd them, because these encounters usually mean they must leave the ranch and the bush, either being asked to leave or escaping gunshots. Juan, a man in his thirties, explained to me that in the bush, We walk at distance of fty meters from each other. If we nd someone who wants to shoot us, he cannot shoot the three of us at the same time; he knows that another one of us can shoot back. Some men also told me that in the bush they are particularly attentive to the movements of the birds, which let them know when someone is around. Juan explained that there is a particular species of bird that sings when the police enter the bush, so even at night they can be alerted of their presence and move somewhere else. If movement is such a central aspect of going to the bush, the practices described are designed to continue the movement through the bush and avoid being stopped and policed. In most cases this is done by constantly avoiding encounters. However, open confrontation occurs when hunters are found and ranch owners or employees shoot with the intent of chasing them from the property. In these cases Toba may shoot back because they do not want to be caught and risk losing their weapons (as they do not have permits for their guns). Men challenge the private ownership of land by entering and moving around in it, but they recognize the conictive dimension of what they do. By hiding from the police and ranch employees, they acknowledge that this is not a space where laws can be debated. However, when Toba hunters met with ofcials from the state Wildlife Department, they expressed that hunting is not a transgression, but a right they have as indigenous people. Following the tendency of new forms of regulation over movement, state ofcials offered to grant indigenous hunters credentials to show when they enter the properties; however, this was a pilot project and was never made effective, probably due to the anticipated antagonism of ranch owners. The encounters with police or ranch employees are part of the frictions of going to the bush. These are caused by attempts by ranch employees and police to stop the Toba, and the hunters attempts to avoid being detected, having to end their trip, and being accused of stealing cattle. Therefore, movements toward the bush threaten the technologies of subject production that organize space, creating compartments to x people into (Foucault 1977: 205). In this case the Toba hunters challenge their connement to the limits of the indigenous neighborhood, and they challenge the policing of the private properties by avoiding being seen. Hunting pushes the boundaries of the space assigned for their movement: from the neighborhood to work places and the public space of the city. By doing so it pushes the boundaries

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of what is allowed to an urban indigenous people: it is not only about needing state assistance but also about having a specic knowledge, specic control over resources, and having the capacity to produce space in an alternative way, as private property is turned into an indigenous hunting eld. Therefore, the control over Toba practices in the bush demonstrates that the hunting trips challenge the location of difference in place and the possibilities of circulation through it: it challenges urban Toba connement to the neighborhood. Hunters do make use of the space of ambiguity that is opened in the association of indigenous people and natural space. In this way hunting simultaneously reinforces ethnic difference, but it challenges the Toba spatial segregation in the city. As we have shown, the dominant production of space performed by the local state and capitalist relations creates state jurisdictions for its regulation and private properties for its appropriation. It does so by disconnecting the city from the indigenous barrio, the barrio from the ranches. As people move in between these places, they recreate specic connections between them. Hunting makes an implicit political claim as it connects the nearby bush with the neighborhood by traversing both places; it reconnects places dening Toba urbanity as one that wants to have access to both the city and the bush. Hunting disputes the spatial notion of the bush as only a rural feature, as people express their desire to hunt, but also to live in a neighborhood with running water and paved roads. However, the Toba use of the bush reproduces forms of exclusion from the city and its dominant economic arena. It allows the continuation of practices of segregation (because they are conned to an informal economy) and allows for the recreation of their difference (being indigenous) through practice (hunting).

Conclusion
In this article I have shown several forms of Toba mobility: the travels back and forth to the rural areas (for progress, work, and bush food), the forces that push Toba away from the city center, and the hunting trips to periurban bush. I have sought to explore some of the frictions of mobility and the possibilities of an ethnographic investigation of this process. In particular, I have shown (1) how mobility creates tensions of place between villages, an urban barrio Toba, the city center, and periurban bush; (2) the way an indigenous urban subjectivity is shaped in these movements; and (3) how each form of mobility implies a particular friction: the difculty of accessing the city, the tension between leaving the village because of lack of work and returning to it

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to regain momentary access to resources and habits, and the conicts over hunting in the bush. The opening vignette presented the productivity of (im)mobility: when a trip is interrupted, the tensions of place and the way indigenous, urban, and generational subjectivities shape and are shaped in place emerge (Gordillo 2004: 254). Friction of movement produces these tensions by linking places in a new way and generating unexpected encounters. Toba movement to the city, their movement back to the villages, their encounters in the city with other Toba families and their creation of a Toba neighborhood, and the conicts over the hunting trips are all elements that point to the constitution of different forms of being Toba in the possibilities of and struggles over movement. The narratives about moving to the city as a site of progress are a primary element shaping the tensions between villages and city and dening the experience of people who by traveling back to the villages are reminded of the constraints of rural areas. The relationship between city and progress soon becomes questioned as people experience multiple difculties in accessing progress in the city center (jobs and access state institutions) because dominant ideas of progress excludes them as an indigenous other from the city. The material implications of this idea were the creation of an indigenous neighborhood in the urban outskirts. The frictions created by Toba arrival trigger a movement back to the rural villages in moments in which jobs are scarce or when people miss the village life. In these trips back, there is a redenition of how Toba shape tensions between rural and urban space: the city is a place of unrest due to the lack of a stable income and also because of their subjection to multiple development programs. This exclusion defers the making of an urban Toba subjectivity that can access the city center as normal city dwellers and locates them as a group that is in need of being developed. While the Toba ask for more state presence in the form of providing health, education, and jobs, they cope with the fact that state services come with limitations because they are targeted as indigenous. In the conicts over hunting in the bush, constant frictions between being in the city and attempting to maintain relative control over the place and resources of the bush generate open confrontations with ranch owners and police. This is the friction between the delimitation of lands as private properties classied as places of agrarian production and the Toba movement tracking wild animals. A constant friction is created in the conictive encounter of two distinct forms productions of place: hunting elds and private properties. Without being an overt political form of contestation of their marginalization in the city, going

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to the bush challenges the forms of governmentality13 that x them to the place of the neighborhood and subject them to development of the state and NGOs (Foucault 1991: 102). In the place of the barrio they recreate their ethnic difference but through movement they overow their connement of it in space. These interconnected types of movements and frictions allow us to interrogate the processes at work in the spatialization of subjectivities. Movement produces the place of the city and its tension with the rural space. It also shapes an urban Toba subjectivity: the trip to the city is a quest towards progress, however being conned to the neighborhood marks them as indigenous and marginal. In turn, by insisting on hunting, Toba struggle the connes of their new marginal urban subjectivity. Being urban and Toba is a form of subject formation that is made through contrasts in places: with the habits of rural life, in the differentiation from normal citizens in the city center, with land owners and other urban poor when they hunt in the bush. Frictions emerge between forces that trigger movement and what slows this movement down. On the one hand the Toba desire to progress, to go back to a village, to hunt and live in the city. On the other hand discourses that produce the notion of indigenous backwardness, state policies that redirect them to a spatially segregated barrio, and the transformation of the bush into fenced private property, put obstacles to Toba mobility. In sum the frictions that urban Toba encounter reassert the notion that movements shaping places and subjects are not only transnational ows but also smaller-scale, daily practices of mobility (Gidwani and Sivaramakrishnan 2003: 341; Grossberg 1992: 126). They highlight the idea that power over space is not only shaped by xing people in places. Power itself has had to become mobile to follow and organize peoples movement in space (Deleuze 1991: 6).

Notes
I thank Noel Salazar and Alan Smart for compiling this volume and giving me very strong guidance about how to organize the article, making comments to several versions of it. The two anonymous reviewers provided very engaged readings that contributed to a much-improved version. I also thank Susan Hicks, Gaston Gordillo, Rafael Wainer, Natalie K Baloy, and Camille Sutton, for their insights on and readings of earlier versions and also to the two latter for helping me with multiple grammar revisions. Part of the work presented was developed in my MA thesis in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. There I beneted from the readings and inputs of Anand Pandian, Felice Wyndham, and Jon Beasley-Murray. Address correspondence to Ana Vivaldi, 6303 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada. E-mail: vivalanadi@gmail.com or zipolite@interchange.ubc.ca.

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1. The periurban bush around the neighborhood is a degradated subtropical forest and grasslands (both are included in the notion of bush for the Toba) that have been highly modied by cattle-breeding activities. In the surroundings of the villages there are areas of the forest and grasslands that have been less modied, even when cattle from criollo settlers are still present. In any case there is more diversity of animals and plants and big animals because capibara can still be found, according to the narratives of the men. An important difference is that in the rural areas the bush is many times either Toba or scal lands; thus, the tensions generated by hunting activities are lessened. In this article I use the term bush in the sense Toba use it as the place where they go hunting, gathering, and shing. I use the term forest to refer to the specic areas with a high density of high trees. 2. Rural-to-urban migrations and the links between villages and barrios in Latin American cities are well-explored issues (Alb 2006: 332; de la Cadena 2000: 68; Guss 2006: 295). Thinking about mobility rather than migration allows us to consider the complexity of trajectories and not only the processes developing at the points of departure and arrival, as has been a general dominant trend in the eld. The studies of transnationality have inuenced the study of internal migrations, pushing to pay attention to the networks between villagers and urban residents, and the making of dispersed communities that show the existence of translocal lives (Lambert 2002: 62). 3. She analyzes the global connections in the Indonesian forest resulting from the expansion of capitalist forms of resource extraction but also in the traveling of ideas about what is nature and who has the right to protect it (Tsing 2005: 5). 4. The migration of indigenous people to the cities is not unique to the Chaco region; there are also important Toba neighbourhoods in the city of Resistencia, La Plata, Rosario. 5. This could be regarded as a slight variation of a pattern not uncommon to rural-tourban migrations described as chain migration in which one person helps other relatives and friends to settle (Altamirano and Hirabayashi 1997: 13). 6. The logic of the claim was to ask lands in compensation for those lost and to settle as indigenous in the city. Even though most people have a memory of the space where now is the city as former hunting and shing elds, there is no claim made to recover these lands. 7. The name rural plot is how the land is described in the ofcial document. 8. Elsewhere I have argued how many people in the neighborhood see the special indigenous politics and resources they receive as a negative form of discrimination that in some cases is used by the government as an excuse for low-budget and low-quality services and in the extreme cases is a form of exclusion. 9. In 2004 and according to the estimations of NGOs, its population was around 3,000 people (of a total of 198,074 inhabitants of the city according to the INDEC 2005). According to a demographic study done in 1998, the population (the most detailed quantitative study available), only 25 percent of the economically active population have a job (and of this 25 percent, 12 percent are state employees). The Toba households generally live on a small income from state welfare received by one member and the informal activities of the rest of the members, mainly womens handicrafts and informal jobs men periodically hold. 10. The province in itself is seen in the national imagination as a whole site of backwardness; it is against these images that provincial middle class and elites shape themselves, by emphasizing their modernity. At the same time it is difcult to think of these elite and middle classes as just the average urban inhabitants of any city in the country, because this province is particularly transversed by relations of

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patronage and close associations between government authorities, land owners, and juridical system. The province itself has been ruled by a governor who managed to change the legislation to be reelected four times. 11. In the words of a salesman I met briey, indigenous people do not want to change; they come to the city and still have nine children like in the country. These people never learn. 12. I exclude womens experience in the bush because it implies many specicities that need particular attention. 13. Governmentality is here understood as the form of conduction of a population in its relation with the material reality, specically the forms in which people are made to want to act as they are expected to (Foucault 1991: 103).

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