More than a mountain: the contentious multiplicity of Tindaya (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands)

Marrero-Guillamón, Isaac. 2021. More than a mountain: the contentious multiplicity of Tindaya (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands). Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 27(3), pp. 496-517. ISSN 1359-0987 [Article]

1467-9655.13547.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The mountain of Tindaya (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands) has been surrounded by controversy since the mid-1990s. It is, at once, a listed indigenous site, a protected natural environment, a mining resource, and the designated location of a monumental intervention by artist Eduardo Chillida, consisting in digging a grand cubic cave in its interior. This article conceptualizes Tindaya as a contentious multiplicity and analyses the mountain’s competing enactments. The state’s Tindaya is a ‘partitioned’ mountain, an entity split into different dimensions (cultural and natural; interior and exterior) that can be both legally protected and excavated. In contrast, activists have enacted a ‘holistic’ mountain, characterized by the inseparability of its multiple ‘values’ (archaeological, geological, environmental) and the need to protect it as a single whole. These two enactments constitute ‘worlding’ practices connected to opposing understandings of the relationship between heritage, nature, and the future. For the state, the mountain is an asset to be exploited, an opportunity to bring about prosperous futures fashioned after the spectacular projects of the metropolis. For the activists, Tindaya represents a unique opportunity to rethink the island’s development model and to put indigenous heritage and environmental concerns at its centre. Tindaya’s unresolved multiplicity is therefore political in the broadest sense: it is a reminder that reality can be otherwise.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



19 September 2020Accepted
25 June 2021Published Online
September 2021Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2021 15:10

Last Modified:

11 Aug 2021 10:20

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)