“Social inclusion, participation and political legacies in Latin America” Wednesday, April 5th

“Social inclusion, participation and political legacies and in Latin America” 

Zaraí Toledo Orozco– “The State in Retreat: Private Governance and the Criminalization of Artisanal Mining”

Dominique Rumeau Castellazzi–  “Welfare States and Models of Capitalism in Latin America”

Eon Joung Lee – “Implementation of Participatory Budgeting: Lessons from Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and South Korea”  

Next week’s presenters are a group of political science Ph.D. students working on Latin America.

They will be talking about different but overlapping themes, ranging from obstacles to state development to the diffusion of participatory innovations in the region. Zaraí will look at the phenomenon of artisanal mining and discuss how private governance has assumed roles traditionally pertaining to the state. Dominique will question the theoretical assumptions of the Varieties of Capitalism literature and their value in explaining the evolution of regional welfare state structures.

Finally, Eon Joung will discuss the variation in the success of participatory budgeting initiatives in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and South Korea.

We are all looking forward to being engaged in fruitful discussion.

Come join us!

April 5th, 1-3 pm

Liu Institute, Boardroom.

How to re-desing the Latin American city?

PhD student Sara Escalante (SCARP) recently gave a remarkable talk about the needs of marginalized constituencies in the Latin American production of urban space. Her presentation, part of a larger collective project with Col·lectiu Punt 6, walked the audience through an urban audit commissioned by the city of Cali, Colombia. In explaining the specificities of place as an object always transversed by conflict, antagonistic interests and the hetero brilliantly analyzed by Michel Foucault, Sara produced a comprehensive reading of a city that poses every challenge for the planner; specially, for those who like Sara, are mindful of a multiplicity of microevents as experienced by groups -about whom designers usually give little thought: sexual minorities, sexual workers, slum dwellers, women, afro-colombians.

Sara’s voice in the context of a highly and thoroughly masculinized (and bureaucratized) profession such as Architecture and Urban Planning, was truly refreshing and stimulating in that it makes us uncomfortably aware of the dynamics of power (micro and otherwise) that still determine and oppress certain bodies in the urban space. In this sense, to approach a subject, a social problem, an issue from the methodological feminism exposed and espoused by Sara is to discover how the former can address not only explicit women’s concerns but those of the whole social fabric improving the city for all.

We look forward to hear about the city’s adoption of Sara and Col·lectiu’s recommendations.

Thank you all for attending.

And thank you Sara!

Urban safety from a feminist perspective in Cali, Feb 15!


Please join us for the next meeting of the Latin America and the Global research group where we will discuss Sara Ortiz’s research in Cali, Colombia. 

Sara is conducting her PhD in the School of Community and Regional Planning. She works with Col·lectiu Punt 6, a group of feminist planners and architects in Barcelona interested in rethinking the built environment from a gender perspective. Her dissertation discusses how planning affects everyday/everynight life of women working at night, and in particular, the impact of gender violence, safety issues and transportation.

When: February 15th, 2017 – 1:00-3:00 pm.

Where: Liu Institute for Global Issues – Research Unit 

“Urban safety from a feminist perspective in Cali, Colombia”

In 2014, Col·lectiu Punt 6 in collaboration with the city of Cali, Colombia and diverse women’s groups conducted a safety audit from a gender perspective, in particular applied to public housing projects. In this presentation, she will present the work developed in Cali and the audit results.
Col·lectiu Punt 6 is a cooperative of feminist architects, sociologists and urban planners based in Barcelona, Spain that works on urban planning projects from an intersectional gender perspective. www.punt6.org


See you there!

Great presentation by Ashli Akins (Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program)

Thank you everyone who joined us to discuss the market’s contradictions impact on the oral and woven history of Peruvian andean communities.

Ashli’s research project joins rigorous academic work with on-the-ground commitment to help the most vulnerable communities in the region. Her talk was an inspiration for all those concerned with using academia to understand and improve the world in whatever way.

We had a very productive talk thanks to the interventions of faculty, students, and  non-academic participants.

A few photos from yesterday


Join us Wednesday, February 15th for a talk by Sara Ortiz (School of Community and Regional Planning) [SCARP] about her work in Cali, Colombia rethinking and designing urban spaces from a feminist perspective!

The Chaos Point of Quechua Textiles

Please join us for the next meeting of the Latin America and the Global research group where we will discuss Ashli’s Akins’s research in the highlands of Peru. 

Ashli is PhD Student & Vanier Scholar, in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, and Liu Scholar. Ashli is also an accomplished photographer and the founder and president of Mosqoy, a Canadian NGO that promotes educational and cultural rights for Andean communities in Peru.

When: January 19th, 2017 – 12:00-2:00

Where: Liu Institute for Global Issues – Research Unit 

“The Chaos Point of Quechua Textiles: How community-owned policies can safeguard living, breathing cultural traditions”

My project is a response to years of dialogue with tourists, consumers, indigenous weavers, and NGO workers about discrepancies in marketing Quechua textiles. In the Peruvian Andes, the Quechua textile tradition is one of the most important cultural cornerstones; indigenous women weave with backstrap looms, using natural alpaca fibers and local plant dyes, embedding centuries of oral history into their art. Though this timeless tradition has adapted through centuries, it now races against the clock. Unsustainable forms of tourism and development have rapidly encroached on indigenous Quechua subsistence communities, threatening their most important art form. Over the past decade, I have heard a common dilemma from both conscientious consumers and development workers offering fair-trade market outlets: “But how do we know the difference between an authentic textile and a copy?” Specifically, weavers have suggested solving this dilemma through collective certifications of authenticity. My theoretical research will explore, among others, the relationship between authenticity and adaptation, as well as critically analyze standardization and essentialism as side-effects of both safeguarding mechanisms and commodification of cultural heritage.

The Ends of Latin America’s Left Turns


We had a great session at SFU today. Thanks to all that attended and participated. Let’s continue and open new lines of discussion this Wednesday, 7th at our Liu Mixer. Everyone is welcome

Hope to see you there.



December 5, 2016, 9am-6:30pm

After two decades of ascendancy across Latin America, left-wing parties and movements are in retreat. Electoral defeats, corruption scandals, and economic crisis have put paid to what once seemed a Utopian moment for progressive forces. This one-day workshop evaluates the ebbing “pink tide” and looks to the region’s future as the right-wing returns.

 With Jon Beasley-Murray (UBC), Max Cameron (UBC), Efe Can Gürcan (SFU), Alexander Dawson (SFU), Leslie Elliott Armijo (SFU), Renato Francisquini (Santa Catarina), Eric Hershberg (American U), Gerardo Muñoz (Princeton), Gerardo Otero (SFU), Fabio Resmini (UBC), Dominique Rumeau Castellazzi (UBC), Zaraí Toledo Orozco (UBC), Alejandro Velasco (NYU), and others.

Room 2050, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings Street


Latin America and the Global Meet and Greet Event


The Latin America and the Global Network is pleased to invite you to the first event of the year. Join us Wednesday, December 7th from 3:00-4:30 at the Liu Institute’s Boardroom (3rd floor) to meet and talk to members of the network and a variety of UBC researchers from Latin America or who work on the region.

We will use this opportunity to know new students and faculty working at UBC and to reconnect with those that have arrived from the field. We believe an environment of dialogue is the best way to facilitate the cross pollination of ideas and creativethinking. Everyone welcome!

For catering purposes please RSVP to Juan Hernandez at j.hernandez@alumni.ubc.ca.

Notes from the Field: Autumn Knowlton

Rita Chiqui

The next meeting of the Latin America and the Global Reading Group will be next Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 3pm in the Research Unit of the Liu Institute (Room 121). Below please find a brief description of the presentation Autumn will give on her research in Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala.

Please attend and bring your questions!

Autumn Knowlton, “Q’eqchi’ Maya Political Imaginaries in a ‘Post-Conflict’ Landscape”

How does defense of La Madre Tierra figure in Q’eqchi’ Mayas’ political imaginaries in “post-conflict” Guatemala?

Many Q’eqchi’ Mayas I interviewed for my doctoral research are engaged in life-and-death struggles over their current and future occupation of La Madre Tierra in northeastern Guatemala. In the past decade in particular whole communities have experienced violent evictions by corporations who are destroying their traditional lands in the name of profit and “development.” How are Q’eqchi’s’ political imaginaries shaped by experiences of conflict, especially during the armed conflict (1960-1996) and in more recent and ongoing waves of violent evictions?

I invite those who attend to help me think through the limitations and possibilities of my research, especially given my outsider status in Q’eqchi’ communities.