Hope and hopelessness in resistance movements: Land reform in the Philippines (14384)
Acts of resistance are ultimately hopeful acts, acts that recognise the world’s becoming, its unfinishedness. In this paper, I will look at resistance and at hope through an investigation of land reform at Lupni on Negros in the Philippines. In many ways, this is not a hopeful story. Land reform in Lupni has largely been stymied. Recipients have lost, or never gained access to, their land. Yet many of Lupni’s residents remain active and hopeful. They continue to fight for land and to advocate for what they call ‘genuine land reform’. I use this complicated case to delve into some of the contradictions and issues associated with land reform in the Philippines. I do this with an eye to the broader, affective dimensions of both land reform and resistance. Drawing upon recent work in emotional geographies and post-development, I maintain that to understand resistance movements such as land reform means attending to the emotional and the affective. I look to Lupni to tease out the relationships between hope and action, between hope and hopelessness, between resistance and compliance. I conclude by considering the possibilities for building an affective politics based on a recognition that the emotional and the political, feeling and action, are entirely entwined.