This introductory chapter discusses the two Afro-Colombian communities in the Andes that are making land claims. The two specific areas of land that these communities are making claims upon have been dubbed as the Collective Territories for Black Communities. The chapter first describes the geography of Colombia before it examines the Afro-Colombian claims to areas of Buenos Aires territory. It then explains the use of the term “Afro-Colombian” throughout the book and lists several categories of belonging. Part of the chapter addresses the question as to why these claims were made and how one can study the state by focusing on various details of everyday life. The chapter ends with a section on Colombia during 1999, when the author conducted fieldwork for this topic.
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