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Artist Residency in the Peruvian Amazon

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

The next stop in our Jaguar route is a space called “Correlación Contemporánea” in Iquitos, Peru. One of its objectives is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences between young and professional artists, on a national and international scale to create programs of Artist Residency. The chosen artists have thus the opportunity to build artistic and cultural links while taking part in the everyday life of a Peruvian amazon region.

“Correlación Contemporánea” constantly looks for connections with the indigenous communities of the region in order to create new links between culture and art. The collective and the organization Yrapakatum worked together to create a space of debate and exchange about the culture and habits of the community Kukama Kukamiria.

This community’s name means in Spanish “chagra pequeña amamantada”. The first part of their name refers to a small cultivable land, called “chagra”. The second part, “pequeña”, means “small” and the last part means “breastfed” and refers to the idea that the water feeds the land and the people the same way a mother breastfeeds her child. The Kukama Kukamiria have established a strong connection with the ecosystems of floodable lands. They are known as the “great fishermen” of the region because of the technics and instruments they invented to adapt to the context.

As a result of the debates and exchanges between artists and representatives of the Kukama people the first program of residency called “Iwati Parana, sobre el río” emerged. The artists were located in the small community of Santo Tomás, in Iquitos, on the banks of the Mapacocha river. The Ipukiari, word used to refer to a “great fisherman”, were one of the interlocutors with who they lived and discussed.

The relations with water, the river and fishing were the articulating axis of the experience of the exchange of knowledge. The meaning of the pirogue or canoe to move in water, the cares given to the “chagra” to cultivate different products on the riverbanks and technics such as digging roots of the yucca in holes to preserve them during the floods, were certainly some of the topics of investigation during this collaboration.

This close relation to the river and the conceptions that go with it were object of exploration of the artists like Julian Cording (Germany), Romina Estecher (Argentina), Maddie McNeely (Canada), Roc Domingo y Marta Rosell Chust (Spain), Maria Teresa Palacios (Mexico), Angela Cortez y Sandra Flores (Peru), Anna Jarosz (Poland), Christina Peake (United Kingdom) y Nika Belianina (Russia). Their artistic projects – visual, audiovisual, photography – were a way to discuss with the Peruvian Amazon and the Kukama community of Santo Tomas. They created a dynamic atmosphere and made the Kukama known in different parts of the world through the projects and artistic investigations led during the residency.

“Correlación Contemporánea” is currently working on new residency programs: “AMAZONICA” and “Prohibido subir a bordo”, for the purpose of contributing to the artistic investigation and creation within the Peruvian Amazon.

Find the residency programs here.

Find : The Jaguar Route, a tour around the art centers in Latin America related to nature.

By Caroline Alfare

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