• Col-Cajamarca-vista1-960×480

Geographic Protest: The role of Counter-mapping in supporting campaigns against large-scale extractive projects in Colombia

A Research Paper by Doug Specht, published by LivingMaps Review


In a few short years, social movements in Cajamarca, Colombia, were able to convince a once divided community almost unanimously to reject the establishment of the world’s largest gold mine on their doorstep. This paper examines the role of contestatory cartography in achieving this remarkable result. It explores the range of mapping and counter-mapping tools used by movements in the region, showing how a combination of classic GIS and neogeographical tools have been used to counter the mining project from both a legal and social standpoint. The paper finds that hierarchies of control are still in place and were not eroded by participatory mapping activities, but suggests that counter-mapping and the involvement of the community in exploring their own landscape was crucial to the rejection of AngloGold Ashanti’s La Colosa project.

Read the full text here: http://livingmaps.review/journal/index.php/LMR/article/view/111/201



Doug Specht


Dr Doug Specht is a cultural geographer and educationalist. His research explores themes related to environmental justice, human rights, and access to education, with a focus on the production and codification of knowledge though cartographic artefacts and in educational settings. In recognition of his work, he has been appointed as a Chartered Geographer and Chartered Teacher. In addition, he has been awarded Advanced Teacher Status, alongside being a Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE. Dr. Specht has authored numerous articles and books, including Mapping Crisis, the Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technology and Society, the Media and Communications Student Study Guide and Imagining Apocalyptic Politics in the Anthropocene. He writes regularly on ethics, environmental and human rights, education, and mapping practices in such publications as WonkHE, The Conversation, Geographical, and for Times Higher Education. Dr Specht is a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Geography, Westminster papers in Communication and Culture, and Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman. He is Chair of the Environmental Network for Central America.


8 November 2018
Research Area
Published By
LivingMaps Review
Share this article
CAMRI | Geographic Protest: The role of Counter-mapping in supporting campaigns against large-scale extractive projects in Colombia - CAMRI
class="pirenko_portfolios-template-default single single-pirenko_portfolios postid-2451 samba_theme samba_left_nav samba_left_align samba_responsive thvers_85 wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.5.0 vc_responsive"