How Bolivia curbed coca production by moving away from violent crackdowns

Dr Thomas Grisaffi is a social anthropologist currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of the Americas (University College London). His main research focus is the political ascent of the Chapare coca growers’ union in Bolivia.

Thursday 6 April 2017, 18.30
Room G34, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Tickets, including refreshments:
non-members £8, members £6, students (with valid ID) £5

Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine, a drug manufactured from coca leaf – which is central to Andean culture. On coming to power in 2006 President Morales made a radical break with the previous US-backed anti-drugs strategy, which focused on the forced eradication of coca leaf and the criminalisation of coca growers. That approach resulted in two decades of violence, and neither reduced coca production nor restricted the flow of drugs reaching the US. Bolivia’s new policy, often referred to as ‘coca yes cocaine no’, draws on the coca growers’ own distinction between coca leaf and cocaine. The strategy legalized the cultivation of a small amount of coca leaf in specific zones, encourages the coca unions to self-police to ensure growers do not exceed this limit, and envisions the industrialization and export of coca-based products.

The overriding aim of the policy is to reduce harmsto coca grower communities. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Chapare coca-growing region Thomas Grisaffi provides a bottom up account of the new coca policy.

 

Decolonising witchcraft: Portraits of traditional healers in Bolivia

A collaboration between :
Photographer David X Green and Geographer Dr Kate Maclean

Photographs of chifleras and amautas. The indigenous wisdom in these women’s work involves the rituals, artifacts and medicines that play a central role in culture, health and spirituality in Bolivia although it has been been sidelined as “witchcraft” under colonial powers.

Exhibition 4-25 March 2017

Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, University of London School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square London WC1H 0PD

For more infomation please visit:
www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/research/peltz-gallery

3 March 2017: Panel discussion 4-6 pm Private view 6-8 pm www.davidxgreen.com 

For tickets:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/decolonising-witchcraft-implications-for-knowledge-and-health-tickets-30921422808

Umaturka “The call of the water”

Screening of the Documentary By:
Giovanna Miralles & Dr. Peter Wilkin
Thursday, 8 December 2016 at 18:30

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies Room 22 / 26, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5 Glass of wine and refreshments included.

For booking email:  anglobolivian@gmail.com

In the Bolivian Andes members of the Aymara community of Quillacas perform an annual ritual to summon rain clouds at the end of the dry season that reflects the ecological co-dependency of the Andes and the Amazonian region. In Umaturka artist, writer and filmmaker Giovanna Miralles and environmental anthropologist Peter Wilkin allow the protagonists in the events to relate a sometimes fraught and contentious narrative. The result is an unsentimental portrait of the reality of an ancient tradition in a modern world. In November 2015 Giovanna and Peter presented the film’s trailer to Anglo-Bolivian Society members and friends who can now enjoy the completed documentary. There will be a stall offering merchandise, the proceeds from which will go towards funding the modification of the museum in Quillacas so the film can be permanently available to the community.

“Boqueron: The Story that must be told”

The Bolivian Embassy & Anglo-Bolivian Society cordially invite you to:
“BOQUERÓN:
THE STORY THAT MUST BE TOLD”
Tonchy Antezana – Director
Friday November 18th 2016, 19.00
Bolivar Hall, 54-56 Grafton Way
London W1T 5DL
FREE ENTRY
SPANISH FILM WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
(Not suitable for children under the age of 12)
Boquerón was the first major battle of the Chaco war fought between Bolivia and Paraguay
from 9 to 29 September 1932 at a fort where 600 Bolivian soldiers held back the
Paraguayan advance of over 12,000 troops.
“Boquerón, the story that must be told” by scriptwriter and director Tonchy Antezana (“Evo
Pueblo” and “Cementerio de Elefantes”) is the first Bolivian motion picture about the Chaco
War (1932 – 1935), the last and bloodiest conflict of the twentieth century in South America,
fought between Bolivia and Paraguay in the heart of the continent.

Booking required: please RSVP by November 10th to
anglobolivian@gmail.com or embol@bolivianembassy.co.uk

“Revisitando la Historia de Bolivia”

Desde el periodo pre-colombino

hasta la Independencia (1825)

Mariana Swann – escritora y profesora de idiomas

www.marianaswann.com

Sábado 22 Octubre 15:00

Iglesia St John’s Waterloo, Crypt

Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TY

(frente a la estación de Waterloo)

Refrescos y bocadillos incluidos. Entrada gratuita. Cupos limitados. Estudiantes bienvenidos

Para reservar sitio enviar correo electrónico a:

anglobolivian@gmail.com         

La historia de un pueblo es fascinante, con una narrativa similar a un cuento o una novela. Diferente a lo que nos enseñaron en el colegio con fechas de batallas y nombres de héroes.

Una historia donde el rol protagónico del pueblo quedo silenciado.

Esta revisita de nuestra historia en el periodo anterior a la Independencia servirá para:

  • recordar y valorar nuestra cultura
  • comprender los motivos de nuestra situación
  • sentirnos orgullosos de lo que somos y podemos llegar a ser
  • servirá sobre todo para compartir y difundir lo que sabemos

“Bolivian Chevening Scholars Meet-up” & “Burguesia Chola” update by Dr. Kate Maclean

Friday 21 October 18:30

Joint presentation with the

Institute of Latin American Studies

Senate House, The Court Room, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5

Refreshments and nibbles included.

To book send email: anglobolivian@gmail.com

We welcome Bolivia’s 2016 Chevening Scholars to the UK and this event offers each of the eight the opportunity to give a short presentation about their background and planned research.

The meet-up will be followed by an update on A-BS’s council member and Leverhulme Fellow Dr. Kate Maclean’s research on the Burgesía Chola.  Kate spoke to us about her work in February and she has just returned from a research trip to La Paz.

A big part of the A-BS is the connection between individuals in Bolivia and the UK and we feel this event offers members a unique opportunity to engage with young Bolivian scholars at the start of their careers, while catching up with a UK academic with a proven research record.

“Bella Vista” Fighting blindness in the Bolivian Amazon

Dave Goldsmith
Founder of the Andean Medical Mission

Ophthalmic scientist, born in Bolivia and working to find and treat blindness for the people living in isolated communities in the jungles and along the many rivers of the lowlands.

Thursday 22 September
18:30 pm
Joint presentation
with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Senate House, Bedford Room G34, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU
Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5
Refreshments and nibbles included.
Send email for booking to: anglobolivian@gmail.com         

Living anywhere as a blind person is difficult.  However, it is disproportionally harsh in the Amazon and living here as a blind or partially sighted person, very hard indeed. Dave and his team have been working to eliminate avoidable blindness in Northern Bolivia since 2011.

Cut off from civilization by a challenging jungle environment, large distances from health care services and precluded from treatment by high cost and low incomes, blindness in Northern Bolivia is nearly four times higher than that of the UK.

Dave’s has many beautiful slides and film to show the way of life here and explains the logistical challenges of running a mobile eye hospital to help these people. Northern Bolivia has a diverse and rich culture and is home to some amazing wildlife much of which is shown throughout the talk. We look forward to seeing you.

“Fiesta Boliviana” Summer Picnic in Regents Park on Marylebone Green

Sunday, 31 July 14:30 till 18:00

All ABS members, friends, families, children are cordially invited. Please bring drinks, refreshments, juices, salads, pasta, quinoa, salteñas – Bolivian specialities most welcome — sandwiches, cake, nibbles and fruit to share.

Don’t forget balloons, blankets, sunglasses, funny hats, umbrellas, sun cream. Bring sweets, biscuits, energy bars to fill the piñata. We will have lots of fun playing Bolivian games and listening to Bolivian music. Everybody welcome

Marylebone Green is in Regents Park, close to Regents Park tube. Turn left as you leave the station, walk along Marylebone Road. Turn right into Park Square West and at the end of this street cross the Outer Circle and enter the park. There is a coffee bar on the left and a children’s playground on the right. Beyond the playground is a wooded area where you will spot us.

http://www.royalparks.org.uk/__documents/park_maps/regentspark_english_map.pdf

Call 07711 707 402 or 07931 936 209 for confirmation / weather check before leaving home.

 

I was born here: Community and Belonging in an Afro-Bolivian town

Chuck Sturtevant
MPhil in Ethnographic Documentary, University of Manchester
Anglo-Bolivian Society award winning thesis 2015
Tuesday 5 April 18:30
Joint presentation with the
Institute of Latin American Studies
Senate House, Bedford Room G37, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU
Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5
Refreshments and nibbles included.
Send email for booking to: anglobolivian@gmail.com

Chuck Sturtevant carried out several months of fieldwork, producing both a written ethnography and an ethnographic film, in the town of Chicaloma, in the Yungas of La Paz. Chicaloma is widely known as an Afro-Bolivian community. Its Saya dancers and drummers are known throughout Bolivia, and its football team is recognised throughout the Yungas. But within the confines of the community, this identification is hotly contested. Those who claim descent from enslaved Africans emphasise their rootedness in the area and their connections to family and friends within the community; they trace their family histories through parents and uncles who lived nearby, recall their efforts to revive Afro-Bolivian dance and culture, narrate their role in building up the infrastructure of the community, and recount their exploits on the football pitch. Meanwhile, those residents of Chicaloma who do not claim descent from enslaved Africans have different ideas of belonging and what it means to be from Chicaloma.  In this presentation, which includes a documentary film, Chuck will talk about his experiences and focus in particular on ideas of belonging and identity in this Afro-Bolivian community – an area often absent from Bolivian political debate.

Bolivia Feb 2016 Referendum What do the results really mean?

Panel Discussion

Dr. John Crabtree

Research Associate, Latin American Centre, University of Oxford

Alberto Souviron

Bolivian digital media specialist / journalist with social media background

Thursday 25 February 18:30

Joint presentation with the

Institute of Latin American Studies

Senate House, Bloomsbury Room G35, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Tickets: Non-members £8, Members £6, Students (with valid ID) £5

Reserve via email. Pay at the door.

Refreshments and nibbles included.

Send email for booking. Email: anglobolivian@gmail.com                    

Bolivian voters will again be going to the polls on 21 February 2016, in a third national election in two years. In October 2014 President Evo Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera were re-elected for a third term and sub-national elections for governors and mayors were held in March 2015. The Referendum to be staged on Sunday 21 February will consult the electorate on amending the 2009 Constitution to enable Morales and Garcia Linera, whose current term of office ends in January 2020, to stand for a fourth term until January 2025. A No vote would mean no change to the current constitution, barring Morales and Garcia Linera from standing for office in the 2019 general election, while a Yes would enable them to seek the fourth term. The panel including Dr. John Crabtree and Alberto Souviron will analyse the social, political and economic implications of these results and complex manoeuvring behind the scenes leading up to the Referendum.
ADDENDA: Traditional Press and Social Media Perspectives

In January this year, President Morales declared the political right had been reduced to communicating via traditional media and social networks. At the beginning of February, he complained about attacks he received in social media. In the meantime, various controversies and accusations have populated this space and later reflected in the traditional press. The campaign in favour and against the re-election of the President and Vice-President has been heated in all media.

In his panel presentation digital media specialist Alberto Souviron will explore whether social media is a fortress of the political right and the opposition? He will also examine if web 2.0 reflects the real debate in Bolivia, and analyse social media use by the No and Yes campaigns.

Our aim is to promote and encourage social, cultural and commercial relations between Bolivia and the United Kingdom.