This week, the Central University of Venezuela and the Alba Hotel hosted a conference on social science research called “Reconfigurations of the world: Conflicts, practices, and emerging subjectivities.” The conference focused on social transformations and their impacts on the world, and included participants such as the U.S. anthropologist Philippe Bourgois.Bourgois and other researchers including the Argentine sociologist Gabriel Kessler discussed issues including the search for alternative approaches to dealing with socio-economic inequality and violence.
In a televised interview, the U.S. anthropologist compared the situation of Venezuela with that of his own country, recognizing the processes of change underway in Venezuela, and highlighting the need to reflect on the role of young people in low-income sectors and their opportunities for development.
Bourgois suggested that all countries should assume the challenge of fighting inequality, a social problem he said is on the rise in many nations.
The Venezuelan anthropologist Adriana Gregson said that the conference stemmed from the need to reflect on the role of young people in processes of social transformation, and particularly it relates to the issue of violence.
Gregson, who is part of the group Plataforma Juventudes Otras (“Other Youths Platform”), which promotes the study of urban working class youth, described the cultural and music projects of the Tiuna El Fuerte Collective.
Tiuna El Fuerte incorporates multiple national and international collectives linked to street culture, multimedia communications, socio-cultural research, sustainable architecture and community social work in order to educate young men and women from low-income sectors.
Finally, Bourgois said that Tiuna El Fuerte is an example of spaces for social transformation. He said that elements such as music can be a source of positive energy and prevent young people from falling into drugs and violence.
VTV/ Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / July 20, 2012