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Towards De(s)colonial Research in the Global Rural: A Feminist Feeling-Thinking Study with Rural Women in Colombia

This dissertation is a feminist de(s)colonial study with rural women in Colombia. It documents and validates the lives, labour and agency of rural women by re-signifying place as a site of resistance and negotiation within a neoliberal context. In using descolonialism as the epistemology for this thesis, I implemented a feminist participatory visual methodology, collecting data from two case studies in the towns of Toca and Minca. The data demonstrate that rural women are agents in place, resisting colonial practices. While campesina women experience social inequality, they enact resistance in places such as the home, vereda, and the city, and contest violence against their territories bodies-lands. As such, rural women in Colombia challenge their positioning by hegemonic feminisms and neoliberal projects as lacking agency and in need of saving. The research demonstrates the importance of feminist, feeling-thinking, place-based research to conceptualising the countryside as an embodied relational space constituted by multiplicities and histories. Overall, this thesis contributes to the growing literature emerging from the Global South that makes visible and supports the progressive politics and new paradigms that question the colonial bias of hegemonic feminisms and neoliberal projects.

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