MOTHERS PLANTS AND WOMEN FIGHTERS. VISIONS FROM CANTAGALLO
This exhibition at MAC Lima is the result of an invitation to Olinda Silvano [Reshinjabe] and the women's collective Non Shinanbo (Our Inspirations) to rethink and represent the last two years of health, social and political crisis from their concerns, urgencies and desires.
Non Shinanbo is part of the Shipibo-Konibo people. They live in the Cantagallo community, located on the right bank of the Rimac River in Lima, which is today the largest indigenous settlement in an urban area in Perú. The project was developed within the framework of INSITE Commonplaces, an international platform that, together with curators, artists and writers, promotes local forms of production.
Between June 2021 and April 2022, twenty-nine women from the Non Shinanbo group produced close to one hundred works in different sizes and materials, such as paintings on fabrics dyed with mahogany bark, paintings on canvas, embroidery, fabric collages, among others. The ensemble, of which we present here a selection, offers an acute testimony about the community experience, the healing power of plants, the solidarity among women and the forms of collective care in a moment of emergency as a result of COVID-19. The community of Cantagallo was severely affected in the early days of the pandemic. Like many other indigenous populations, they had to deal with the advance of the virus without access to intercultural medical care that incorporates a health model from an indigenous perspective.
It is curated by Miguel López, researcher, writer and curator who is part of projects such as Pinta PArC and the upcoming Toronto Biennial, and has participated in the curatorship of multiple exhibitions around the world.
The works also elaborate on filial ties, migration stories, memories of the Amazon and the complexities of living in Lima trying to maintain their Shipibo roots. An important protagonist is the kenè –which means design–: geometric patterns induced by visions with plants such as ayahuasca or piri piri that also originate from the energy of the skin of the Ronin (anaconda). The pieces present us with a Shipibo vision of the world where fish, rivers, trees and fruits are not passive entities to be dominated, but active beings that have knowledge. From this perspective, human life, nature, territory and spiritual beings exist in continuity and in a reciprocal dimension.
This exhibition offers a different way of understanding the recent social emergency and accompanies the struggles of the Shipibo-Konibo people in the claim for the preservation and respect of their ancestral knowledge, for urgent action against the destruction of the Amazon and for better living conditions for indigenous peoples in Peru and everywhere.
Rosa Pinedo, Jessica Silvano, Salome Buenapico Silvano, Soraida Cumapa, Emilia Teco, Doris Gomez, Dora Inuma, Wilma Maynas, Cecilia Melendez, Edelmira Mori, Fenicia Mori, Karina Pacaya, Claudia Pacaya, Delia Pizarro, Pilar Arce [Metsa Rama], Juana Reategui, Betty Reatigui, Silvia Ricopa, Tita Rona [Juana Nunta], Michita Sampayo, Cordelia Sanchez [Pesin Kate], Olinda Silvano, Lucy Silvano, Sadith Silvano, Zaida Silvano, Nelda Silvano, Inés Sinuiri, Isolina Tananta, Priscila Vásquez and Dely Zabaleta.