Jan 2, 2017
Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
ABSTRACT Buen Vivir is familiar largely due to its integration into the Ecuadorian and Bolivian Constitutions, yet it is also known in the Tsotsil and Tseltal-Maya communities of Chiapas, Mexico as lekil kuxlejal. Its guiding principles offer radical alternatives to socioeconomic and political practices of Western modernity as it shifts focus from anthropocentrism to biocentrism: humans exercise no more dominion over other living beings – such as the earth and its diverse elements – as these living beings exercise over humans. The pillars of Buen Vivir are a coexistence founded in the interconnectedness of all and for all. Nevertheless, this paper highlights that the scholarship written on Buen Vivir, in regards to social relations, largely eludes engaging with non-heteronormative orientations. In this sense, it reinstates a male–female binary and thus follows the heteronormativity of a patriarchal, colonial society. At the same time that this paper questions the gender discourse within the realm of Buen Vivir, it claims that the Tsotsil-Maya documentary film, La pequeña semilla en el asfalto (2009), directed by Pedro Daniel López, veers away from reinforcing heteronormativity and instead articulates a queering of Buen Vivir that proposes a good life for all.