The Psychedelic Moment, Pt. 6: Laura Dev on the Ayahuasca Economy and Spiritual Tourism

March 8, 2021






Laura Dev is a Postdoctoral scholar in public political ecology at UC Merced whose work investigates the relations and practices surrounding ayahuasca, a psychoactive plant mixture, focusing on the pathways by which plants, rituals, and knowledge associated with the use of ayahuasca travel between Shipibo communities in the rural Peruvian Amazon and the Global North. Together we chatted about global ayahuasca tourism, why ayahuasca became fashionable among middle-class and upper middle-class American searchers and seekers, the various specificities of the "Ayahuasca Economy," how spiritual use of plants can transform native landscapes, what socially responsible use may look like, how Laura asks for and receives wisdom from plants and sometimes helpful writing advice. To follow her work and stay updated on news about her book: For organizations in the Amazon to support - Laura recommends Alianza Arkana: Laura is also working directly with Farmacia Viva Shipibo Sanken Yaka, a Shipibo-run organization that protects and preserves medicinal plants and traditional knowledge in their community:


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