Energy issues have assumed a key role in political processes in Latin America. These issues include contests over the distribution of benefits from oil and gas extraction and the role of the state in adequately representing the collective interest of nati onal populations including the specific rights of indigenous peoples and workers. Such foundational issues of popular national sovereignty overlap with global environmental concerns about energy production. It is therefore vital to have a thorough underst anding of the issues, meanings, and how these differences play out in struggles that connect local and global politics. Communities, social movements, governments and international organisations can all be seen to be wielding highly contrasting assumption s about the significance of natural resources and the terms used to manage them as sources of energy. A reflexive understanding of how discourses of energy come to be articulated in Latin American politics and society is therefore needed.This project ai ms to provide such an understanding through a broad and ambitious research program covering six Latin American countries. We aim here to not only study the operation of energy policy, but the formation of energy as a set of ideas and social dynamics that at once inform and are formed by the anthropology and politics of the region. Through the further combination of social science methodologies with digital photography we furthermore argue that the profile of this understanding can be given stronger portra yal and depth.As such the proposed project poses the following key research questions:How is energy conceived and understood by different sectors of Latin American politics and society?How do these conceptions influence or relate to debates and confl icts over energy resources at the level of the nation and region?What potential does the recognition of energy as a set of ideas and basis for dialogue have for conflict resolution in the region?