Frontiers of Existence

Redefining Who Can Exist and How at Resource Frontiers



This article introduces a new concept, ‘frontiers of existence’, to highlight and demand more attention be placed on the lives of human and other-than-human beings whose possibilities to exist are extinguished or radically and negatively transformed at resource and commodity frontiers and demand more attention be placed on this. What happens to existences at these places has not been a central focus in prior studies utilizing political economy, political ecology, or other approaches for studying frontiers. This article is makes a theoretical contribution, by arguing that the research on resource frontiers should more fully recognize more fully the redistributions of existences caused by major landscape changes. The analysis is based on field research since 2004 on the expansion of monocultures and deforestation in Brazil and the effect of this on existences. Four key questions for the existential analysis of frontiers are suggested, and their application is briefly demonstrated through ethnographic material collected in November and December 2019, in the Amazon and Cerrado regions of Mato Grosso State in Brazil.

Keywords: resource frontiers, ethnocide, deforestation, political ontology, global land grabbing, frontiers of existence, forests

How to Cite

Kröger, M. (2021). Frontiers of Existence: Redefining Who Can Exist and How at Resource Frontiers. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 46(1), 77–96.