Carlos Suárez Álvarez, M.A.

I am presenting here several excerpts from A Cash Crop, my last multimedia book, that shows how Banisteriopsis caapi, once an abundant and commercially worthless plant species, has become an increasingly scarce and expensive product of mass consumption. The global ayahuasca boom has generated a prosperous business of harvesting, planting, processing, and exportation in Iquitos. Although ayahuasca drinkers often claim to experience an ecological awakening, their epiphany results in the eradication of the vine in some areas of the Peruvian rainforest, according to people who commercialize the plant, whom I interviewed. A Cash Crop is the second instalment of Ayahuasca, Iquitos and Monster Vorāx, a series of multimedia books that combine ethnographic research, literature, and audiovisual creation to show the extraordinary phenomenon of ayahuasca in Iquitos, a shamanic mecca where the local collides with the global… continue reading.

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