I Will Return and I Will be Millions: Deliberations on Migration and Myths of Return in Two Bolivian Novels





Migration, decoloniality, Bolivia, literature, return, Katarismo, modernity


Historically, the notion of return has been linked to a variety of Andean figures. The Pachakuti refers to a cyclical destruction and regeneration. The Inkarri represents the corporeal regrowth and recuperation of a messianic figure. Tupac Katari’s prophecy “volveré y seré millones” is a promise of redemption for indigenous peoples. Through the analysis of Juan Pablo Piñeiro’s Cuando Sara Chura despierte (2003) and Antoine Rodríguez-Carmona’s El blus del minibus (2015), this article discusses how Bolivian narratives about migration evoke notions of a mythical return by depicting the arrival of thousands of indigenous migrants to the city. Both novels translate the political and cultural theme of the return into images of migrants reclaiming the cityscape.