Navigating Midwifery Waters in Mexico 

(…) because midwives in this country and around the world… not only do they look after births and pregnancies but in fact, they do a lot more… for women’s reproductive and sexual rights. 

In the video below, the researcher Georgina Sánchez-Ramírez (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico) and co-author of the newly published book Midwives in Mexico: Situated Politics, Politically Situated (2021) highlights the significant contributions made by midwives in defending women’s rights and self-determination in Mexico and elsewhere. In this way, the work of midwives in Mexico, as sustained by the book, transcends the practical prenatal care and birth assistance towards a broader political context.

For scholars and students in Latin American Studies, the book sharpens the focus on the perspective of situated-ness: The ways in which midwives engaged in political activism intersect, cross and challenge societal divisions both in public spheres and in intimate, private spaces. It incites us to inquire: What do we know about the midwives and their located herstories in Mexico and Latin America? Who has access to midwifery care and why? Who can become a midwife and how? What kind of political activisms are employed by these empowered women positioned in fragile circumstances?

Our colleague Dr. Hanna Laako is the co-author of the book, now available at the UEF library repository: Midwives in Mexico: Situated Politics, Politically Situated

Member of ESDLA, Mariana Galvão Lyra, interviewed by Helsingin Sanomat

Our colleague and member of ESDLA, Mariana Galvão Lyra, was interviewed by the Finnish journal Helsingin Sanomat (HS) on the Covid-19 situation in Brazil.  In the HS article, Mariana explains that the collapse was expected in Brazil’s highly unequal society. President Jair Bolsonaro ’s depreciation of the pandemic has only made things worse.
The article’s contextualization draws on this Special Blog Issue on Covid-19 in Latin America. It also follows the terrible current situation in Brazil.

Ethical notions in environmental and development research: an interview with professor Diana Ojeda

In ESDLA we are committed to sharing different perspectives towards the environment and development issues research. Especially, if it is research concerned with ethical practice and responsible social and political engagement. This is an important concern not only for research on Latin America but for elsewhere. Also, this is precisely why we interviewed Diana Ojeda for our blog.

Diana is a professor and researcher at the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (PENSAR) at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia. She is interested in political ecology and feminist geography and holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University in the United States.  Beyond her academic credentials and high-quality scholar contributions, perhaps the most interesting aspect of Diana’s trajectory is how her research work has engaged with society and everyday research practice, favoring genuine collaboration with oppressed communities. Likewise, to use other means to disseminate knowledge and reach larger audiences, for instance, convert a full body of participatory research in a graphic novel. In sum, Diana’s work can show how research can perfectly address ongoing socio-ecological inequalities and contribute to public debates on local and global challenges. Although we did this interview in May, we were waiting to publish this in the best moment taking into account current debates on the planetary crisis. Environmental concerns about Latin America, and particularly in Diana’s case in Colombia, can also contribute to global discussions.

Most of Diana’s research contributions such as papers, books, interventions, and the graphic novel “Caminos condenados” (co-authored with Pablo Guerra, Camilio Aguirre, and Henry Díaz), can be found on her website, or just drop her an email and surely she will be happy to reply to you!

Below is the 11 minutes interview. We apologize for some video quality issues in the interview, but we did our best taking into account the available means and resources! We must thank a lot to Diana for her time and generosity 🙂


PS: We invite you to the next call for the Ph.D. programs in Social and Cultural Encounters, and Past, Space and Environment in Society under the subject of Environmental Policy at the University of Eastern Finland is open until October 31st.

Please check these links for more information: