Contributors: Calestani, Melania (University of Southampton)
Trained as a geographer and anthropologist in Italy and the UK, I carried out research in the Bolivian highlands, Western Samoa, Guam, Europe,and the UK. My main interests include issues related to well-being, faith, morality, and value.
Melanie Calestani ist Geografin und Anthropologin in Italien und Großbritannien. Sie forschte im bolivianischen Hochland, in Westsamoa, auf Guam und in Europa u.a. in Großbritannien. Zu ihren Forschungsinteressen gehören Aspekte in den Bereichen Wohlstand, Glaube, Moral und Wert/Wertvorstellungen.
The project of ‘Vivir bien’ in Bolivia
Abstract: In Bolivia the Morales government has tried to implement structural innovations and has attempted to refund the country through a new constitution aimed at harmonising liberal and communitarian forms of government at all levels. High relevance in this political project has been given to indigenous understandings of ‘Suma Qamaña’ or ‘vivir bien’. This concept could be translated as ‘living well together’ implying living comfortably and with dignity within one’s means, without excess, and in harmonious relationships not only between humans but also with nature. This concept has been adopted as a guiding standard for most governmental policies, also providing an alternative image of indigeneity. It is fundamental to understand where lies the limit between the political discourse and the real proposal rooted in people’s practices, beliefs and culture. The Bolivian case study can shed light on wider global issues and challenges surrounding well-being, national policies and sustainability.