Highlights and Activities

These summaries are drawn from our Annual Reports. To learn more about select events described in these activity summaries, please visit the hyperlinks, which connect to videos and photos from the corresponding events. 

2016-17 Highlights and Activities

Through diverse academic programmatic activities, the Andes & Southern Cone Program increases the visibility of the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela at Harvard University. The Program enhances collaborative research among Harvard faculty and their counterparts in the region and encourages faculty and student engagement, while serving as a portal for activities for the Harvard community and the public at large. In 2016-17, the Andes and Southern Cone Program hosted and co-sponsored 30 events including talks, seminars, conferences, and film screenings involving a total of 27 faculty members and invited scholars.

Almost half of these events were part of Interpreting Displacements and Migrations through the Arts and Sciences, a Center-wide thematic and year-long initiative in connection with the Harvard Art Museum' exhibition by Doris SalcedoThe Materiality of Mourning. The theme of displacement was explored through various formats and disciplines, including round table discussions about the Colombia peace process, economic and ecological causes and consequences of displacement, as well as films from Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay. Lecures and films co-presented with ARTS@DRCLAS delighted at-capacity audiences throughout the year. 

DRCLAS was host to two former presidential candidates from Peru, Julio Guzmán and Veronika Mendoza. The University also extended an invitation to President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski for a future visit to the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the HKS Institute of Politics. The public talks, co-organized with the Peruvian Association of Students at Harvard and Professor Steven Levitsky, attracted not only University members, but also local audiences and a record attendance via live streaming. 

This spring, the 3-day conference Symbolic Reparations brought together scholars and artists from Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru to analyze the role of the arts in the difficult processes of national reconciliation. A presentation on Colombia's biodiversity with Professor Brian D. Farrell and the Director of the Humboltd Institute in Colombia, Brigitte Baptiste, highlighted the potential of Colombia's natural environment to become a greater factor in economic growth. Venezuela's current political and economic junctures and its potential future scenarios were the subject of a series of lectures and seminars throughout the year. 

Some of the faculty and student-led activities included the panel discussion Venezuela's Political and Economic Collapse: What's Next?; a visit from the Ambassador of Colombia to the United State, Juan Carlos Pinzón, organized by the HKS Colombia Caucus; a screening of Pizarro, with the film director and Harvard's RFK Visiting Professor, Helena AlviarMemory and Hope: The Paraguayan Cinema of Paz Encina at the Harvard Film Archive; and the conference Moving Beyond the Crossroads: How can Latin America overcome its old and new challenges? organized by Latin American students at HKS with speakers and high-level officials from Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. 

2015-16 Highlights and Activities

In its second year of expanded activities to all Spanish-speaking countries in South America, the Andes and Southern Cone Program continued to strengthen its relations and collaborations with student groups from various countries, mainly Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, while working closely with its core group of faculty advisors and other faculty across the University. Also, efforts were redoubled to cultivate a closer alliance with the Regional Office, as a natural counterpart to the Program in the region. In 2015–16, the Andes and Southern Cone Program organized and co-sponsored 26 events, attended by over 1,500 students, faculty and members of the community. Three events in particular stand out: a visit by Keiko Fujimori, a seminar on Argentine politics, and the annual student-led Colombian Conference.

Keiko Fujimori visited DRCLAS in September. She held a private meeting with 29 Peruvian students, a luncheon with 14 faculty members, and a public event with over 200 people, plus an ample audience via live-streaming (find the video recordings from this event here and here). She was introduced by Professor of Government Steve Levitsky, who described some of her political views as well as her challenges as the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori. Ms. Fujimori exposed her ideas regarding the Peruvian economy, democracy, human rights, and her father’s future. She was questioned about topics such as the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, forced sterilizations during her father’s government, and her position on civil unions. The talk received major media coverage in Peru during the weeks that followed the event.

Argentine journalist and writer Jorge Lanata presented Argentina, El Comienzo del Cambio?, an event co-sponsored by Banco Santander and Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Introduced by DRCLAS Visiting Scholar Wenceslao Bunge, and moderated by HBS Professor Rafael DiTella, the event brought together a capacity-crowd of over 200 people from the University and the Argentine community. In his charismatic style, Mr. Lanata spoke of the political history of Argentina, impunity from former governments, the control of the media, and his stance toward the presidencies and policies of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Mauricio Macri and answered questions from the audience.

The student associations of Harvard, MIT, Boston University and Tufts came together to organize the fourth annual Colombian Conference, a week of keynote lectures, panel discussions, events and workshops. María Gómez opened the conference, presenting her book Contratono, introduced by Chilean poet Raúl Zurita. Day two followed with the documentary film Mampujan, Crónica de un Desplazamiento. A panel about memorials and symbolic reparations was followed by the keynote speech Reclaiming the Aura, by renowned Colombian artist Beatriz González. MIT hosted a presentation of Daniel Lievano’s Illustrations about the armed conflict, a panel on migrations and cities, and two sessions devoted to models for advancement of science and technology. On the final day, DRCLAS hosted two panels and a workshop. The first panel, Financing the Post-Conflict, focused on aligning interests of the government, international donors and local agencies. Empathy, Reconciliation and Peace was a second compelling panel, which brought together Joshua Mitrotti, General Director of the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, with Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhaes, Senior Political Advisor to the President of East Timor, and Refis Ortiz Rojas, a reintegration promoter at the Colombian Agency for Reintegration. The conference closed with a workshop on Migrations, Diaspora, Cities, and Territory.

2014-15 Highlights and Activities

Beginning in the fall of 2014, the Andes Initiative incorporated events related to the Southern Cone countries of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay and, in the spring of 2015, was renamed the Andes and Southern Cone Program. During 2014–15, the Program sponsored or co-sponsored a varied and dynamic set of activities, including a visit from Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez, recipient of the Prix Roger Caillois and the Alfaguara Novel Prize (find a video of this event here). What Does the Future Hold for Venezuela? featured Ricardo Hausmann (HKS) and Francisco Rodríguez, chief Andean economist at Bank of America. Together, with the Latin American Caucus at HKS, the program convened Verónica Zubillaga, Dorothy Kronick, and Francisco Monaldi to discuss Revolution and Violence: Understanding Venezuela’s Crime Wave.

In the fall, the Program organized Postconflicto y Re-Generación Política: Lo que una Nueva Generación Puede Aportar, with José Antequera from the National Center for Historic Memory in Colombia, and supported Launching of ReVista: Peru, with distinguished collaborators such as Steven Levitsky, Kimberly Theidon, and David Scott Palmer. The Program co-sponsored the Social Anthropology Seminar Series presentation Men in Black: Sovereignty and Private Security in a Bolivian Market, with Daniel Goldstein from Rutgers University. Found Theatre: Biodrama and Biography on the Argentine Stage hosted the Argentine theater director, curator and Belknap Fellow at Princeton University, Vivi Tellas. In support of the Harvard Argentine Student Society, Science and Technology in Latin America: The Case of Argentina featured Lino Barañao, National Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina. The Stirring of Culture: A Conversation about the Arts, Citizenship, and the State, with Sugata Bose, Antanas Mockus, Doris Sommer, and Homi Bhabha, was presented along with the Mahindra Humanities Center and the Cultural Agents Initiative. The Program also co-sponsored the HLS Program on Negotiation talk A Perspective on the Colombian Peace Process, with the Inspector General of Colombia Alejandro Ordóñez. Other events in the fall included El Boom Gastronómico Peruano, featuring chef Javier Ampuero, and Introduction to Quechua: Language and Culture of the Andes.

During the spring, the Program supported a number of student organization events and conferences, such as Políticas Públicas en Chile, organized by the Chilean Students at Harvard, MIT, and University of Chicago, featuring James Robinson, Ricardo Hausmann, José Miguel Benavente, and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States José Miguel Insulza. Pensando Argentina 2030 was a two-day event organized by the Harvard Argentine Student Society and the Argentine Club at MIT. The Program closely collaborated on the third Colombian Conference at Harvard-MIT-BU, Colombia: Building Peace, over three days with distinguished speakers such as Luis Carlos Villegas, Noam Chomsky, and Jesús Abad Colorado. Panel discussions included Memorials, Symbolic Reparations, and the Law of Victims; Transitional Justice; Women and Work for Peace Building; Urban Planning and Reconciliation; State Building from the Regions; and The Voice of the Victims.

Other supported student-led initiatives were Argentina’s 2015 Presidential Election Speaker Series, with Jorge Altamira, presidential precandidate for the Frente de Izquierda, Partido Obrero; and a Conversation with Alfredo Graffe. Liberal Institutions and Social Incorporation: Is there a Trade-off (Or Can We All Be Uruguay)? brought together Santiago Anria, Catherine Conaghan, Lindsay Mayka, Juan Pablo Luna, and Alberto Vergara. Discussants for this seminar included Harvard professors Jorge Domínguez, Frances Hagopian, Steven Levitsky, and Candelaria Garay. Additional events included Temporalidades Heterocrónicas en los Imaginarios Latinoamericanos Contemporáneos, with Álvaro Fernández Bravo; and a symposium on the book Latin America: New Challenges to Growth and Stability, with co-authors Dora Iakova, Luis Cubbedu, and Sebastian Sosa, followed by a conversation between Ricardo Hausmann and the International Monetary Fund’s Western Hemisphere Director Alejandro Werner.