My research centres on issues surrounding social entrepreneurship in Latvia.
As the idea garners ever-more attention in the media, in the political circles and more generally in public discourse, I follow the activities of one social enterprise ‘BlindArt’ that employs four sightless women in the creation of strikingly beautiful design objects. As part of my research, I have embedded myself in the sightless community in Riga where in one place you can go to school or work, drop your kids at the kindergarten, carry out exercises at the rehab centre, attend the day care centre or see a concert in the local club.
My aim is to situate these activities within the wider context of the current political economy demonstrating the links between decisions made in the high circles of Brussels and Paris where bureaucrats draw up plans for unhappy economies and the way age-old Japanese dying technique is utilised to interact with those decisions. I hope to tell a story about people who live and work in one place without actually ever seeing it and what their actions mean for the rest of the world.
Key words: social economy, alternative economic practices, social value, Latvia