April 25, 2018

Winners of research program on “Gratitude in Action” are announced

Research proposals were first presented at the “Social Movements and the Praxis of Gratitude” seminar in Buenos Aires.

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and FLACSO Argentina are pleased to announce the results of “Social Movements and the Praxis of Gratitude” research program. The winners are Mariela Pena (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina) Alejandra Naranjo (Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile) and Sebastián Fuentes (FLACSO Argentina). They were selected from 50 applicants from 9 countries including Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Panama and Spain.

“FLACSO and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative have taken a promising step by installing a novel theme about the social forms in which gratitude is expressed in collective action. We are convinced that this can open new doors for critical reflection on the global humanitarian crisis. From these successful experience we are hopeful that the collaboration between both institutions will allow us to strengthen pioneering links in the Latin American region to think about the problem of gratitude and human rights from a conceptual and applied perspective, attentive to critical social situations and its possible ways of positive resolution,” said Luis Alberto Quevedo, Director of FLACSO.

The three winner proposals will be supported with US $3,000 grant to further develop and complete the projects that explore the social value of gratitude in the collective actions of social movements in specific cultural, political and economic contexts.

“We are extremely excited for this successful cooperation with FLACSO Argentina. The response to the call for research proposals is overwhelming and we are grateful to all 50 researchers who took their time to explore the concept that drives the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative – “Gratitude in Action”. Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is extending the geography of its programs and impact, and Latin American societies warmly welcome our efforts,” said Arman Jilavian, CEO of Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. “We are looking forward to the final research papers that may become important assets to find solutions for some of the most pressing humanitarian issues in Latin America and in the world.”

The first presentations of the research projects were introduced during the seminar “Social Movements and Praxis of Gratitude” held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 24, 2018. The seminar featured leading Latin American researchers of social sciences who discussed the concept of “Gratitude in Action”, the driving force of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. The participants addressed the question of the relation between the idea of gratitude and social movements from the Latin American perspective.  

“Research experiences of gratitude, in my case from the field of the right to food, is an opportunity, not only to explore the cultural forms in which this value is expressed, but also as a possible way to address complex social problems with a new perspective Today was a very complete day, with speakers and debates that allowed us to have a wide dimension of the notion of gratitude and its possibilities in action,” said Alejandra Naranjo, one of the winners of the research program.

The seminar, jointly organized by FLACSO Argentina and Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, also featured the presentation of 2018 Aurora Humanitarians. Expert-consultant to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Aurora Prize Expert Panel member Pedro Mouratian spoke about the programs of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and presented the work and activities of this year’s Aurora Humanitarians.

The selected research proposals Social Movements and Praxis of Gratitude will be carried out within 5 months until August 17, 2018 and the thesis of the research will be presented at the 2018 Aurora Dialogues, to be held in Armenia between June 8 and 10, 2018. The winner proposals are presented below:

Sebastián Fuentes (FLACSO, Argentina), “Gratitude in movement: families and babies in transit in the system of protection of rights in the province of Buenos Aires. Towards the conceptualization of a humanitarian social movement”

The central objective of the project is to investigate, from a qualitative research, the senses of gratitude and the gift in the relationship that help families to care about their young children. The research proposes to describe and understand the social and symbolic practices in which the gift and gratitude shape a moral economy in articulation with the systems and approaches of law. Likewise, the study will contribute to the analysis of the social value of gratitude as a structuring form of relationships and social movements.

Pena, Mariela (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), “Gratitude as motivation for action: case study in an Argentine peasant movement”

The project proposes to contribute knowledge about gratitude as a motivation for action in social movements, based on a case study that takes as reference the Peasant Movement of Santiago del Estero (Argentina) "Via Campesina". The study is oriented to the comprehension around the praxis of gratitude within the collective actions of the organization linked to what we have denominated policies of the daily life: the assignment of domestic tasks and of upbringing, productive and political, the use of the different public and private spaces; and the forms of political participation of women, men and young people.

Alejandra Naranjo (Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile), “The experiences of gratitude in two spaces of food sociability in Chile: rights, reciprocity and humanitarian crisis”

This research project aims to investigate the experiences of gratitude of people who travel in spaces of food sociability. In these places the circulation of food goods is promoted, from the ethic of reciprocity, which strengthens the expression of certain values and the search for the right to adequate food. It is important to note that the chosen sites reflect the global food crisis, specifically the dichotomies of abundance / scarcity in human consumption and, on the other hand, extensive agricultural exploitation versus agroecological production and consumption systems. 

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