Two Bolivias


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An Argentine reporter recently posted a photo essay of "the two Bolivias" online. The captions are all in Spanish, but you can get the gist of the differences between the "Andean" and the "Camba" Bolivias. There are 21 photos.

Posted by Miguel at 10:07 AM


Thanks for the link Miguel...but I think he gave SC short shrift...lots of grafitti...where are the magnificas!?

Posted by: galloglass at February 6, 2007 11:32 PM

I disagree. I think the photos show a distorted view of what Bolivia is and the differences between "the two Bolivias".

I don't deny it, the two Bolivias exist and are growing more and more apart every day. However, that thinking that one Bolivia is in Santa Cruz and the other in La Paz is too simplistic.

Visiting the two cities one can see the presence of many of the elements shown in the pictures. In both cities are extremely expensive cars filling traffic; there are indigenous people, as well as lighter skined people (yes, in La Paz there are more indigenous which gives the illution there are only andean people there); the support for Evo is shown more in La Paz, but not to forget, there are also people who do not support him; La Paz is a very modern city, no so backwards as they seem to show it in those pictures.

I guess what I am saying is, it is very important not to be mislead by simplistic characterizations of Bolivia. The problem is compex and has many dimensions. Some are more visible in some cities, but that does not mean they don't exist in the other cities.

Posted by: miguel (mabb) at February 7, 2007 12:12 PM

In looking at the fotos of "Dos Bolivias" I get the impression that this is an exaggerated attempt to display La Paz as more indigenous. Where are the pictures of the modern shopping areas of La Paz, the business men in suit and tie? Also, Santa Cruz seems to be seen only as a place of materialistic pleasure and anti Evo. Yes, that is there, but there are also indidgious elements there as well, especially the indigenous of other parts of the country, not just andean. I understand these fotos have been taken by a foreigner so that is perhaps the reason. He is taking a view that many do have of a simplistic division. Many people here in Santa Cruz recognize that it has been the hard work of Collas who have together with the cambas made Santa Cruz what it is. Interesting enough, this week is the inaugural presentation of the Misa Camba,and as the composer has clearly stated within this music there are elements of ALL types of bolivian music, taquiraris, chobenas, carnavales, cuecas, chacareras y huaynos. When asked how all of this music represents Santa Cruz (Camba) he stated (translation) that Santa Cruz has within it ALL of the cultures of the country and with this work, hopes to spread this message of integration in a time when many talk of division between regions.

Posted by: mom at February 12, 2007 07:16 AM

hey miguel! a friend of mine, jay, is making a doc about bolivia. he's got some good images/work thus far. check for it at i'm sure he'd LOVE input from a man in the know such as yourself.

Posted by: vange at March 11, 2007 10:46 PM

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