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Crossing the river before summiting 17,500 Pico Austria. Photo by Ella Williams (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest, 2nd Place), South America Semester.

The complexity of bolivian politics and history with the voice of the andes “Nina Uma”

What comes into my mind when when I think about the bolivian politics in general is the word “complicated”. History comes inevitably together with politics as well as economics, for this crucial reason we try to compromise and connect culture, history and politics through our adventure in bolivia. One of our inspirations was the popular, feminist rapper Nina Uma who gave us the chance to get a deeper understanding of her work, the bolivian issues and of the ongoing contradiction between traditions and modern movements. We did not only have the possibility to talk to Nina (who`s name means fire and water in Quechua and Aymara) but also to our lovely homestays, for Ella and me thats Marilyns family! Just tonight she offered me an insight about her personal view on Evo Morales corruption, his very long reign and the idea of actual government to put elections online and take one of the most important rights of the “secret” vote from the population. Contradicting to that Nina Uma gave us an insight into the fact how Evo Morales, as the first indio president, was firstly able to increase the indio confidence ,minimize racism and the gap between the indigenous culture and modern populations in the cities. All those conflicts find parts of their roots in the strong hierarchy of the Incas as well as the imperialistic spanish structures which reinforced the class system and minimized or destroyed the traditional, indigenous powers. I for myself am fascinated by the complexity of the combination of history and politics,that still can be felt today on the streets as well as in the contrast between countryside and the city. I, as a feminist, was impressed by Ninas strength and aim to empower women and stand up for the rights in a country such as bolivia, which does not offer the same opportunities as the country I come from.

By now we cannot wait for our talk at the american embassy to understand the international or rather american position to bolivian politics. Although we have broadened our horizon in regard to politics we look forward to firsthand experiences during the next weeks.


P.S. : If you want to check out Nina Uma 😉 :