Doctoral Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago
Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
I am a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My research interests lie at the intersection of political ecology and the anthropology of contemporary state formation. Currently, I am conducting dissertation fieldwork that investigates water politics and statecraft currently emerging in light of a context of climate change.
Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
Crisis Redux, Viral Uncertainty, and Militarized Care: Coronavirus in the Aftermath of Bolivia’s Uncertain Coup
Editor’s note: This post is the second in our five-part series “COVID-19: Views from the Field.” Click here to read an introduction written by series organizer Rebekah Ciribassi.
A Familiar Feeling of Crisis
The COVID 19 crisis arrived in Bolivia just after carnaval. On February 22nd, colorful costumed confradías dancing to the rhythms of salay, caporales, morenadas, and chacareras blazed through the streets of Oruro, a gritty mining city that hosts Bolivia’s biggest carnaval celebration. The following Tuesday, Martes ch’alla, people around the country gathered with their families to ch’allar their homes, burning ceremonial tableaus and splashing beer on the ground as an offering to bring a year of good luck. Two weeks later to the day the first case of coronavirus in Bolivia was confirmed, initiating a cascade of escalating measures including the closure of international borders, curfews, and eventually a nation-wide quarantine with each household allowed to send one family member out for a few hours to buy food once a week, according to the number of their national ID. (more…)