La Paz: a city of joys and frictions

Guagalupe Peres-Cajias

PhD candidate Vrije Universiteit Brussels

Coordinator Social Communication Dept, Bolivian Catholic University

La Paz, Bolivia, is the city of the fiestas. In recent years the number, size and cost of these fiestas has increased substantially, and this has produced tensions across the city around the question of how public space can be managed fairly, whilst respecting diversity and community. This talk focusses on how fiestas in public spaces, located in zones usually inhabited by traditional middle and upper classes, illustrate the social tensions produced by the social mobility of popular classes in La Paz. It is based on observation and interviews made in nine areas of the city, during the festivities of Carnival on March 2019. The celebrations during the Carnival in certain streets of La paz enact the tensions between the traditional middle upper class and the popular classes, deeply rooted in the colonial past in Bolivia and the postcolonial heritage that remains.

Tuestad 2 July 2019, 18:30 start
Institute of the Americas, Room 103, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN
Complimentary entrance for Institute of the Americas staff and students
Tickets, including refreshments: non-members £6, members £5, students (with ID) £3
To book, email:

Guadalupe is a PHD Candidate in the program “Communication and Media Studies” from Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), and is the current Coordinator of CIBESCOM (Centro de Investigación Boliviano de Estudios Sociales y de la Comunicación) in the Social Communication Department in the Universidad Católica Boliviana (La Paz). She is a regular columnist for two naitonal papers in Bolivia – “Página Siete” and “El Deber”- and author of the monograph “Travesías por la fiesta. Jóvenes de La Paz y Bogotá entre matracas y sintetizadores”, published by PIEB-UCB.

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