Category Archives: Events

The making of “Boquerón: the story that must be told”

Tonchy Antezana

(recorded interview and presentation)

Bolivian scriptwriter and film maker

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Thursday 30 October at 19:00

Room G34, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7H

Boquerón was the first major battle of the Chaco war fought between Bolivia and Paraguay from 7 to 29 September 1932 at a fort where 600 Bolivian soldiers held back the Paraguayan advance of over 2,000 troops.
“Boquerón, the story that must be told” the film currently being completed by scriptwriter and director Tonchy Antezana, who previously made “Evo Pueblo” and “Cementerio de Elefantes”, is the first Bolivian motion picture about the Chaco War (1932 – 1935), the bloodiest conflict fought in South America between Bolivia and Paraguay two of the poorest landlocked countries in the continent.
The film captures behind-the-scenes human aspects of the war following the lives of four soldiers from different backgrounds and parts of Bolivia. The presentation of the “making of” the film by the Anglo-Bolivian Society includes a recent exclusive filmed interview with Tonchy Antezana, an unreleased “making of” presentation, film teasers and photographs.

The Road to Where? The Struggle for the Future of the Isiboro Secure National Park & Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS)

Jessica Hope, Postgraduate Researcher

Institute of Development, Policy and Management (IDPM), University of Manchester

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Thursday 25 September at 18:00 for 18:30

The building of a new highway, planned to cut through the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), in lowland Bolivia, has tested the limits of the new MAS state and their plans for extraction, indigenous rights and conservation. The dispute is testing Bolivia’s new constitution, commitments to buen vivir (living well) and its environmentalist stance.  More widely, it raises questions about post-neoliberalism, the power of extractive industry, and the role of conservation in this politics.  This talk is based on data gathered in nine months of fieldwork, primarily interviewing those opposing the road.  In her talk, Jessica Hope will explore how those resisting the road are mobilising their indigenous identity to control the rate and pace of development in the park.

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

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.

¿En defensa de la hoja de coca? The anti-drugs policies of Evo Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo

Stacey Dunlea

Postgraduate Researcher

University of Sheffield

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Friday 9 May at 18:00 for18:30

This paper explores recent developments relating to coca leaf cultivation and cocaine production in Bolivia, and in particular counter-narcotics measures under the MAS administration.

The 2005 election of the Movimiento al Socialismo’s  Evo Morales, a former coca farmer and leader of a coca growers’ trade union, as president of Bolivia led to some speculation that the country would break completely with a US-backed coca eradication programme. Despite the fact that the coca leaf, which plays a significant part in autochthonous Andean culture, is not the same as the synthetic drug cocaine, some commentators greeted Morales’s promises to defend the coca leaf and its growers as a sign that cocaine production in Bolivia would increase.

This paper explores counter-narcotics measures employed by Morales and the MAS, and the extent to which they have altered the controversial forced eradication policies pursued by previous governments. The paper asks if the actions of the MAS administration can truly be considered a challenge to the ‘War on Drugs’, and a part of the alternative strategies emerging elsewhere in Latin American, such as Uruguay’s recent decision to legalise the limited sale of marijuana. The paper is a longer version of one that will be presented at SLAS 2014, the Society for Latin American Studies’ annual conference. The version presented at SLAS 2014 will be kindly sponsored by the Anglo-Bolivian Society.

The making of a transnational community: Bolivian ex-miners’ migration strategies

Dr. Tanja Bastia
Lecturer in Urban Development
University of Manchester
Wednesday 26 March at 18:00
Joint presentation with the
Institute of Latin American Studies
Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

The history of Bolivian geographic mobility represents a fascinating case study from which to better understand global processes of migration and the consequences that migration has for migrants and their communities of origin. This talk will present findings from a group of Bolivian ex-miners, who migrated within Bolivia from the mining town to Cochabamba and from there to Buenos Aires and various cities in Spain. Spanning at least two decades, the life stories and survey data collected for this research project also tells the story of the making (and the un-making) of a transnational community. Of particular interest are the findings related to gender relations and the extent to which these have changed through these processes of internal, regional and global migration.
* Image: Bolivian immigrants in Plaza Kantuta in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from the documentary “Un día más: ¿Cuánto esperarías antes de volver?”, directed by Sergio Estrada, Donald Ranvaud and Leonardo de la Torre Ávila.