About Lumi Mandache
Luminita-Anda Mandache is a PhD student in socio-cultural and applied anthropology. Lumi earned her M.A. degree in Anthropology in 2011from the University of Louvain, located in Belgium. This stimulated her curiosity for topics related to economic and development anthropology. During her five months of fieldwork in Santiago de Chile's largest marketplace, La Vega Central de Santiago, Lumi investigated the intricate ties between the economy, work, ethnicity and kinship with a focus on the importance of informal economies for the existence of the so-called "formal" economy. This experience inspired Lumi to pursue further work on the importance of the "informal" economy.
In 2012 Lumi started the PhD program at the School of Anthropology under the supervision of Dr. James Greenberg and Dr. Timothy Finan. Her dissertation research focuses on the impact of alternative (community/local) currencies on local development. Lumi aims to investigate the importance of these currencies taking as exemplified by Latin America's largest community bank, the Bancos Palmas located in the Conjunto Palmeiras of Fortaleza, Brazil. In her developing fieldwork, Lumi aims to understand the impact of the complementary currency Palma over its 16 year run in the community of Conjunto Palmeiras, during its 16 years of existence. In that context, Lumi seeks to understand how the complementary currency, as seen in Brazil, complements current efforts of social inclusion. Her investigation is positioned at the confluence between economic, development and urban anthropology.