Fertilizing Mourning at the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art

Thanks to an invite from Sarrita Hunn, Florencia Portocarrero and me spoke recently at the SFSIA 2022 Deep Ecology in the Cognitive Capitalocene. Our talk Fertilizing Mourning: From Representation to Thinking With can be watched here.

About the content:

More than 60% of the Peruvian territory is part of the Amazon. Locally known as the Selva–this vast economically and politically neglected region– is currently the center of some of the most important debates in terms of sustainability and planetary biopolitics, as well as a crucial site for the struggles for the rights of diverse indigenous communities and the preservation of their ancestral knowledge. Despite the high degree of social conflict experienced in the Amazon area due to illegal mining and internal-colonial processes of land appropriation by the state, over the last fifteen years its multiple and heterogeneous artistic production has received increasing attention at a national and international level; mainly thanks to the work of artists (indigenous and not indigenous), academics and curators, who have devoted themselves to the research, promotion and dissemination of what is currently considered one of the most solid scenes in Peru. Even though all these efforts have been important to make visible the importance of Amazonian cultural production, they have mainly operated in the representational realm, rarely addressing the primitive accumulation processes hat traverse the region and its inhabitants. In conversation with curator Florencia Portocarrero, In “Fertilizing mourning: from representation to thinking with”, artist Eliana Otta will introduce her latest project, which based on  Yana Allpa–a technique that was devised thousands of years ago by Amazonian communities to guarantee soil regeneration– proposes us to adopt a native way of knowing and learning from people who have already survived the ending of their world and, therefore, may be better equipped for living in a damaged and more complex planet.