Date: 02/15/2015

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Proteus Gowanus (543 Union St., Brooklyn)

Price: $5

What is wealth? Can there be a definition that moves beyond the superficiality of cash accumulation? Who is embracing a new definition? Using data collected form ethnographic work conducted in Maya villages in the lowland rainforests of Belize, social anthropologist Kristina Baines presents thoughts on the movement between a traditional reciprocal labor system to a cash economy, and back again. Outlining the details of the Maya reciprocal labor system, which uses a day’s work as currency to trade for a day’s work of another community member, Kristina discusses what it means in terms of health, heritage and future to use a cash-less system. As part of Proteus’ ongoing exploration of COMMERCE, Kristina questions our understandings of poverty and wealth, the linear perception of “development” and how we put alternatives to capital into “communal” or “fringe” boxes. What lessons can these traditional systems teach us about commerce in our communities when we recast ideas about heritage in the present?

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