LATIN AMERICAN LABOUR CONGRESS . Work and Labourers – Past and Present
La Paz, Bolivia – 2-8 May 2017
On 2-8 May 2017, the Latin American and Caribbean Conference Trabajo y Trabajadores (“Work and Workers”) took place in La Paz, Bolivia. Approximately 70 scholars participated from various countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain, United States, Great Britain, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands. This conference was organized by Rossana Barragan, IISH, Amaru Villanueva and Cristina Machicado. The conference was financially supported: the IISH, the Center of Research of the Vice-Presidency of Bolivia (CIS), Re-Work-Berlin, History of the University of San Andrés, ILO and OIM.
During four days, the scholars presented and discussed the Representations of Labour and Non-Labour (Organizers: David Mayer, Austria; María Ullivarri, Argentina; and Valeria Coronel, Ecuador); Social Conflicts and Struggles through History (Organizers: Gabriela Scodeller, Argentina; Larissa Correa, Brazil; and Lucas Poy, Argentina), Unfree and Free Labour (Organizers: Paolo Revilla, Bolivia; and Beatriz Mamigonian, Brazil), Migrations (Organizers, Alfonso Hinojosa, Bolivia; and Cristina Vega, Spain-Ecuador) and Precarity (Maurizio Atzeni, Italy-Argentina). Every day 12 to 14 papers were presented and comments were given by Verena Stolcke (Germany-Spain); Mirta Lobato (Argentina); Sergio Serulnilov (Argentina), Carlos Illades (México), Christian de Vito (Italy-The Netherlands), Felipe Castro (México); Gioconda Herrera (Ecuador). There were also three Round Tables on “The ILO and Latin America”, a lecture on informal labour by Enrique de la Garza Toledo (Mexico), with comments by the Vice-president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Álvaro García Linera; and a roundtable on “Labour Historiography in different Journal”, moderated by James Dunkerley, with the participation of Archivos (Gabriela Scodeller), Journal of Latin American Studies (Paulo Drinot) and the International Review of Social History (David Mayer).
A concrete result of this event is the foundation of a network on Labour and Workers under the name of Red Latinoamericana de Trabajo y Trabajador@s (REDLATT). For the first time, in Latin America, there is a network that reunites labour scholars from the colonial or immediate post-colonial eras as contemporary labour studies. RELATT will promote meetings and research. It is a network of scholars from different Latin American countries, researching topics as ‘unfree-free work’, ‘labour’, ‘gender’, ‘migration’, ‘labour and trade unions history’ and 'social struggles’. The network aims to establish connections and relations with other already existing networks.
Christian de Vito wrote an extensive and thorough report about the conference, highligthing the perspectives and discussions that took place in La Paz. See the pdf.