Category Archives: RLC Valdivia

Get-together of five RLA laureates at “Activistas para un mundo mejor” in Chile

On 5th of December, the University Austral de Chile hosted the event “Activistas para un mundo mejor” (“Activists for a better world”) and the congress “La transdisciplina hecha práctica” (“Transdisciplinarity put into practice”) together with the Right Livelihood College (RLC). The event brought together five Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award (RLA) who all participated in the opening forum “Activismo y academia: diálogo de saberes y disciplinas”: Manfred Max-Neef from Chile, Evaristo Nugkuag from Peru, Juan Pablo Orrego from Chile, Gabriel Franco from Colombia and Francsico Chico Whitaker from Brasil.

The event was a mixture of different types of activities including field trips, public discussions and music presentations. PhD student of the RLC Campus in Bonn, Germany, Alejandro Motta was among those organising a field trip to his research site of the indigenous Mapuche people. Within the programme of the event, members of the indigenous community, human rights organisations, groups of artists and University students had the opportunity to connect through various field trips and forums organised by the University Austral and the RLC.

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The economist Manfred Max-Neef was the first Latin-American to receive the Right Livelihood Award in 1983. He developed the thesis “Development on Human Scale” which identifies nine fundamental human needs that are defined by various existential categories within a matrix.

Evaristo Nugkuag Imanan is a leader of the indigenous ethnic people Aguaruna in Peru. He has dedicated his life to the protection of the civil, economical, and political rights of indigenous communities in the Amazon basin for which he was awarded the RLA in 1986.

Chilean ecologist Juan Pablo Orrego (RLA 1998) is best known for his activism against the construction of large hydroelectric plants in the Bio-Bio region in Chile. As the founder and coordinator of the Grupo Accion por el Bio-Bio, he gave life to a campaign for the defense of the Pehuenche communities and the river itself.

Poet Gabriel Jaime Franco is the co-founder and coordinator of the annual Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin, which received the Right Livelihood Award in 2006. Finally,

Francisco Chico Whitaker, a political and social activist, is one of the founders of Foro Social Mundial (FSM). He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006 for his work and activism for social justice.

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Helen Mack Chang visits the Campus Austral in Valdivia, Chile

From the 8th to 12th November 2015 the RLC CAMPUS VALDIVIA had the pleasure to host the 1992-RLA-Laureate from Guatemala, Helen Mack, with whom we realized a lot of activities that we would like to share with you.
Helen Mack is an activist, famous for her ongoing fight to defend human rights. She was given the RLA for her perseverance in the search of Justice after the brutal killing of her sister Myrna Mack in 1990 who was a social anthropologist and conducting a research on the displacement due to the war in Guatemala. Results of this investigation where, as we can imagine, not in the interests of the dictatorship, which led to the brutal killing of Myrna Mack as a direct consequence.

1) Talk with pre- and post-grad studentsIMG_0186

On Monday afternoon, in an ambiance of closeness and trust, Helen shared her experience what it was and still is like to be an activist in Guatemala, her ongoing struggles to fight for human IMG_0253rights, her winnings and failings, her motivation and her fears and her role in the Foundation Myrna Mack, founded by Helen Mack.

Next to students from the Master’s Program in Development on a Human Scale and Ecological Economics and “SPRING” (Urban and Rural Planning), there were also numerous law students and professors attending the talk with Helen Mack, being interested in the history and the lessons from someone who’s activism successfully change the juridical system of a country.

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2) Open Conference

THE CULTURE OF IMPUNITY IN LATIN AMERICAIMG_0271

At full house, Helen presented her story to university authorities, teachers, students and people from the civil society and organizations of human rights of Valdivia. In this instance, she shared her experience of 25 years of struggle against the impunity following the murder of her sister, showing the savagery which involved policies taken by the State and which devastated more than 23 indigenous communities in Guatemala, over 85% of those affected in their human rights. Therefore, Helen has been known for being the only Guatemalan to denounce it publicly without fear, despite death threats and strategies of intimidation that she has received during her fight. Helen called on us young people to be irreverent, rebels and to fight so that we as a society can overcome once and for all the culture of impunity, which have been lived by our precursor generations with so much pain and suffering.

3) Visiting the House of Memory (La casa de la Memoria) in Valdivia

During this activity, Helen was received by social leaders of human rights organizations; the Association of detainees, disappeared people and former political prisoners of Valdivia. She was given a tour of the House and listened to those who are witnesses and survivors of the atrocities that occurred during the time of the dictatorship in Chile.

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“We share our experience of life during the oppression, as a way to keep alive the unofficial stories which not have been told so that in the future these atrocities will never be repeated.”

 

4) Dinner with the Rector of the Universidad Austral of Chile

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The authorities of the University Austral de Chile hosted a dinner where they thanked Helen for her presence Valdivia and projected potential joint action to strengthen closer networks and strategies between the winners of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, the Academy, the local community, the students in order to development and facilitate future research with multidisciplinary approaches.

5) Getting to know the city of Valdivia and the Region and getting to know us on a personal level

20151111_164338The opportunity to have Helen at the UACh was not “wasted” and we took some time to show Helen our reality, our city, the market, museums, IMG_0167the river and the Pacific Ocean… We made sure that she now knows Valdivia and its culinary flavors. A group of students also accompanied her to the lake Llanquihue, to see the Puyehue, Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes in Puerto Varas.

All this time we shared, we talked about our lives and realities, about the studies and the thesis, our research
and we were happy to receive her advice and vision. Helen left us with one impression humanity and closeness. We could share ideas on the different perspectives of rural areas in Guatemala, in Colombia, and Chile, we could also discuss the controversial topic of GMOs from a systemic and critical perspective, the joint in geopolitical terms and the territorialization hiding Gigantism through the trans-nationalization and privatization in the use of this type of technologies that threaten the socio-cultural heritage in rural southern Chile agriculture.

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Víctor Bonilla, one of the first scholars of the Right Livelihood College and compatriot of Helen, mentioned during the talk: “… Helen, without a doubt, having you here to present, to dedicate your time patiently, to learn from your courage and bravery, reminded me of my land, our accent and lead me to share with my classmates symbols and meanings of the Mayan culture and ideas about different discipline. Talking a common language between a German ecologist, a Colombian industrial engineer, a Peruvian journalist, two anthropologists; a Chilean and an Argentine, a Chilean lawyer and two Colombian economists, learning along with fellows of law in undergraduate studies, was for me with my training in agricultural sciences, an excitingly beautiful experience that I simply ran out of words to express it…”

We thank the Robert Bosch Foundation, which financed the trip to Valdivia, UACh and made it possible for Helen to visit us. Special thanks to Helen, who dedicated us these days, thank you for your simplicity human quality, its strength and courage that has been for us an example and inspiration! Helen encouraged us and challenged to build a better future, to look critically and alternative world in which we live… It was without a doubt an enriching experience. Thank you Helen!

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Juan Pablo Orrego visits the Right Livelihood College in Valdivia

Juan Pablo Orrego / Grupo de Acción por el Biobío (Chile)

“…for his personal courage, self-sacrifice and perseverance in working for sustainable development in Chile.”
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This Monday, the 2nd of November 2015, we, the Right Livelihood College the the University Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile, were happy to receive Juan Pablo Orrego. During two extensive sessions, one in the morning exclusive for the students and one open to the public in the afternoon, we learned about his life, his goals in life and about his important and influencing pro activism in Chile.

Juan Pablo Orrego, laureate in 1998,  was born in 1949, and has a Master in Environmental Studies (1986). At a younger age he was a composer and singer in a popular urban folklore group. In 1991 he helped to establish and was also elected to be general coordinator of the Grupo de Acción por el Biobío (GABB) to attempt to stop the construction of six dams in the Biobío River in southern Chile, one of South America’s most spectacular rivers and one of great ecological significance. Its watershed is also home to the Pehuenche indigenous people, numbering about 10,000.  In Chile the Biobío has become a symbol of the environmental and social struggle, which is still going on in the country. According to authorities and analysts the Biobío campaign has had a significant influence on the story of hydro development in Chile … for the better.

Today,  Juan Pablo Orrego is known for his ongoing activism with his ONG “Ecosistema” in Santiago, aimed at the protection of rivers and indigenous communities from hydro power plant schemes and their effects.

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During a 3 hour session in the morning with 26 students from 7 countries and 3 Masters Programs (Urban and Regional Planning, Development on a human scale and ecological economics and Rural Development),  Juan Pablo Orrego allowed us a deep insight in his earlier life, his spirituality and his reasons and motivations that led him to be the activist he is  today.

DSC_5798In the afternoon, in a presentation open to the public, he talked about the current and recent situation in Chile regarding the politics of water, energy and indigenous right. He emphasized in the lessons we, as a community, have to take from the current estate of arts, the ecological crisis and the loss of empathy between humans, and between humans and nature. “I am sure, that we as a human community, can solve the ecological crisis if we work together. The problem is, that we have to start today, because I am not sure, how much time we have left!”

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Thank you, Juan Pablo Orrego, for this amazing and insightful day!
The Right Livelihood College from Valdivia!

 

Workshop about the fundamental human needs!

What are your fundamental human needs?
How does your comunity help to satisfy this special fundamental human needs?
And how are the ways to satisfy the needs of the people diffenrent in other communities?

Questions like this and many more we asked ourself and a group of 35 persons from different communities in the region of los Rios, Chile, using the matrix of developed by Manfred Max-Neef about the 9 fundamental human needs.
The result of this workshop you can see in this short video!

Valdivia starts blogging

Hello everybody,

with a warm greeting to everybody, now, the Right Livelihood-Campus in Valdivia, Chile, will start to blog for the first time!

Here, on the other end of the world, very down south, we work closely together with Manfred Max-Neef. We now are the third generation of the Masters´s Program “Development on a human scale and environmental economics”, and the first generation of RLC-scolar students. Me, Victor and Viola, are very happy about the opportunity!
Our first semester was a wild rolercoaster ride, and now our second semester has started. So far it´s great.
Next to our clases in “Development on a human scale” and “environmental economics” we chose different clases like “the economical valoration of ecosystems”, “public policies for a sustainable development” or “the sociology of climate change”.
We are looking forward to keep the rest of the RLC comunity updated about our workshops and activities, hoping to build a strong RLC-comunity.

Lots of Regards, Viola and Victor, from Valdivia!

RLC Valdivia offering scholarships

RLA vice president Dr Monika  Griefahn and UACh rector Dr. Victor Cubillos at the opening ceremony of RLC Campus Valdivia, Photo: RLC Valdivia
Opening ceremony of RLC Campus Valdivia, Photo: RLC Valdivia

2014 marked an important milestone in the history of the RLC, with Valdivia becoming the first campus in South America. The new campus in Valdivia is now offering two full college scholarships for an MA in Human Scale Development and Ecological Economics. Information on the fellowship is available in Spanish and application materials are ready for download. Continue reading

RLC Campus Valdivia hosting Juan Pablo Orrego

846216ddc6The RLC Campus Valdivia hosted a presentation by RLA Laureate Juan Pablo Orrego on his new book “The Entropy of Capitalism”, in cooperation with Sur Mujer, an annual meeting organised by Chilean civil society. Orrego describes his book as a reflection on the social, environmental and economic impacts of capitalism in Chile. Orrego has made the defence Chile’s ecosystems and the search for alternative, sustainable models of consumption and production his tasks. His presentation was the first event to be organised by the new Continue reading