Linking Malvinas—Roots of the Future

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Uriel Erlich is a Sociologist (University of Buenos Aires) and Master of Arts in Development, Management and Policy (Georgetown University—UNSAM). His M.A. thesis was about the foreign affairs policy on the Malvinas Question.

The summit “Linking Malvinas. Roots of the future” took place on Rio Gallegos (Santa Cruz, Argentina) on September 15th, 2014. The aim of the gathering was to set up the “Patagonia Observatory about the Malvinas Question” and to present its first project, which takes the same name as the summit. The observatory integrates five National Universities from Patagonia Argentina.

The project's purpose is to recover and value the historical, cultural and familiar links that traditionally connected Malvinas with the Patagonia. It will allow promoting dialogue for coexistence and peace for a common future. In the meeting, many descendants of the islanders that came from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England participated. The ancestors of the participants—or the participants themselves—have established themselves in the continental fields of Argentina in different moments of history. Also in the meeting were some descendants of Argentinean people that had established themselves on the Islands at the beginning of the XIX century till 1833. Current researchers from Argentina and the United States in this field participated, too.

The gathering was very interesting and I participated with the support of ROI. Its issue was very close to my Master of Arts Thesis: the Malvinas Question. Being part of the summit allowed me to deepen my perspective about an important topic: the relationship between the islanders and their families and descendants. It was very enriching to listen and to talk with the descendants of Malvinas islanders about their perspectives and histories, and I interviewed some of them. Also, I could contribute both by sharing my academic research about Argentina's foreign affairs policy on Malvinas, and by collaborating on the development of the workshop. All the participants were very committed to the project and the next steps to take. This was the first of three meetings.