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About the project 1

The history of humanity constitutes an axis on which different narratives revolve around. These narratives, which reflect the plurality of both historical spaces and anthropological times, not only problematize the hegemonic versions of such history (in relation to periodization, relevant facts and underlying presumptions) but also offer keys for reading critically the present. The potential of these hermeneutical resources to articulate new readings of both past and future encouraged some researchers from CLACSO's Political Philosophy Working Group, with the support of the UNESCO (Montevideo Office) Program of Philosophy and Humanities, to organize in 2017 a symposium on "Cultural Identity, Diversity and Good Living: new ethical-political frameworks" during the UNESCO World Humanities Conference (Liège, Belgium).


The present project constitutes a second step to promote a closer acknowledgement of diverse forms of indigenous knowledge, particularly on the global history of humanity, which "The International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences" and UNESCO have been promoting (see Outcome Document (prepared as the concluding text of the World Humanities Conference, Liège, Belgium, 2017). The project  aims to contribute materializing due acknowledgement of indigenous knowledge, which are fundamental to articulate responses from the humanities to the many problems of our time.


1. To register seven narratives about the history of humankind, which have been maintained and reproduced by traditional indigenous authorities in America, and to explore their implications for a critical interpretation of both the regional and global present.

2. To propose a conceptual framework that encourages social appropriation of these narratives as legitimate ways of giving accounts of the way in which time and humanity have been intertwined.

Research process

The project envisages the following activities:


1. The construction of a research file with relevant sources.

2. Interviewing, with due consent, traditional authorities (elders) of seven south American indigenous or afrodescendant communities about the history of humankind based on their own traditional knowledge.

3. Recording and transcript such interviews.

4. (Authorized) Visual recording of research key moments and people.

5. A Critical-hermeneutical analysis on the scope, implications and novelties of traditional narratives in contrast with the hegemonic regimes of global historicization of humankind.

6. Editing a book with the research results as well a Manual and materials for an audiovisual itinerant exhibition of the traditional narratives about humankind history.

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