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Life Projects Network

Life Projects Network

The Life Projects Network is a portal to access a variety of ongoing experiments across the Americas that seek to foster the various visions of a good life that emerge from particular places, historical trajectories and conceptions of reality. Life Projects can be distinguished from Development Projects ( in both Right and Left wing versions), that is, visions of a good life grounded in the purported universality of progress. From a developmental perspective, a good life is achieved through the cumulative movement towards some sort of better place located in the (ever receding) future, but that movement needs to be fuelled by all kinds of environmental and social sacrifices in the present. Life Projects are often targeted as ‘sacrificial offers’ to the ‘God Progress,’ both because they simply stand in the way of development (they use the ‘resources’ coveted by development agents) and because they constitute living examples that other good lives are possible beyond the developmentalist vision.

What unites ‘life projects’ within their enormous diversity are two main characteristics:

1)Their attention to the uniqueness of peoples’ experiences of place and self and their rejection of visions that claim to be universal.
2) Their increasing visibility as plausible alternatives to ideas of progress and development.

In part through struggles in pursuit of life projects and in part through the appalling environmental and social effects of the attempt to impose a universal vision of a good life based on the notions of progress and development, increasingly large sectors of the general public are becoming receptive and interested in learning about alternatives. The Life Projects Network seeks to make an intervention in this context.

The Life Projects Network portal is a site of diffusion, discussion, sharing and learning about Life Projects across the Americas, particularly geared to activists, educators, scholars and the general public. The host (Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies at MUNhyperlink) provides a platform and a series of templates to share resources generated by partners (individuals or organizations) that have joined the network.

Project Leader: Mario Blaser

Associated Research Theme: Life Projects

Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives