- Latino Migration Project
The Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of the Latin American experience in the Western Hemisphere. It builds on a long-standing and distinguished tradition of scholarly interest in the diverse regions that make up Latin America, including Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Graduate & Professional Student Orientation. Come learn about opportunities and resources to work in Latin America and/or among Latino communities.
Sept. 4, 2014
5:30 p.m. FedEx Global Education Center, 4003
“They Don’t Represent Us: Learning from Social Movements from Latin America and Beyond” with Marina Sitrin, Dario Azzellini, and respondents Michael Hardt, and Liz Mason-Deese
Thursday, Sept. 11: 12:30-2pm; Fedex Global Education Center Room 4003
Description: “Marx said that revolutions are the locomotive of world history. But perhaps things are very different. It may be that revolutions are the act by which the human race traveling in the train applies the emergency brake.” Walter Benjamin’s words perfectly fit what has been going on around the globe throughout 2011 – and in Latin America since 1994, from Chiapas and Oaxaca Mexico to Argentina and Bolivia. The new movements are shouting No! People are refusing to remain passive in an untenable situation. And so they pull the emergency brake, and in that space freeze time and begin to open up and create something totally new.
The Occupy movement throughout the US, Spain and Greece, all began with same two features. First, the use of direct democracy to create horizontal relationships – meaning social relationships based in non-hierarchy and the acceptance of the other. This democratic space is the foundation for people hearing one another, sometimes for the first time, as well as is an ever-changing space where new ways of being together emerges. The second aspect, and linked to the first, is the creation of new territories, using geographic space, in which to create these new relationships. It is from this horizontal base that actions, activities and alternative structures are planned; from the occupations of homes to prevent evictions in the US; the occupation of cashiers in hospitals in Greece so people do not have to pay for health care; and the disruption and prevention of evictions in Spain. At the same time these movements create structures so as to support people in the process of organizing, from food, medical legal and education groups, to alternative adjudication processes and elaborate barter networks and alternative currencies.
This talk will first address what has been taking place in the US, Greece and Spain since 2011– including the status of the movements today. It will then contextualize these new movements in Latin America, post 1989, beginning with the Caracazo in Venezuela followed by the Zapatistas in Mexico, the Landless Movement in Brazil, the water wars and Regantes in Bolivia and the autonomous movements in Argentina.