Artistic residency for Q’eqchi’ women
TRANSLATED BY MARIE WUNDER
In the framework of the International Rural Women’s Day, October 15, the Maíz de Vida
Association launched for the first time the artistic residency program “Territorial Body”, program specifically designed for the involvement and participation of Q’eqchi’ women.
This process seeks to provide emerging artists of the territory with a temporary scholarship and a training methodology that allows them to develop an artistic work, with a specific heme, which in this case was the life of Q’eqchi women and the link with their territory and mother earth.
During the residency, the participants were accompanied by Esperanza de León, who was in charge of the training and curatorial process. The residents also had the opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge with other interdisciplinary artists such as Reyes Josué Morales, Luisa González Reiche and Camile Juárez.
This residency seeks to promote the participation of Q’eqchi women in the artistic field, encouraging different forms of expression that contribute to transform the imaginaries that limit and make invisible the relevance of women’s participation in society, contributing to the promotion of circles of support free of violence and strengthening the care of the body- territory link and the connection with mother earth.
In societies like the Guatemalan one, where people with different cultural experiences coexist, we need more effective means of communication as bridges that transcend the verbal; that sharpen attention, listening, care, empathy. Attitudes that are sometimes difficult to assume in everyday experience but are spontaneously possible in the face of artistic productions.
In this direction arises this residency “Cuerpo Territorio” ("Territorial Body"), provoked by the Maíz de Vida Association, open specifically for women artists of the Q’eqchi territory.
It is an extrinsic call, a kind of anomaly among local art calls. Organized in two phases, one for training and the other for creation, it seeks to promote actions and creations that reflect Q’eqchi’es interests and sensibilities, as a tool to make their concerns visible, from their present and from their own voice. Exercising, as an event, an infringing power (in the best sense) because it celebrates the artistic thought from the peoples, from the youth and from the women, provoking essays of possible ways to honor the persistent feminine struggles of this nation.
The results of the process are an audiovisual produced by the collective Ixq crear, formed by Elena Caal, Ixmucane and Ixmayab Quib; and a photographic selection by Roxana Mucú. From their visions and technical choices, they reflect on the parallelism between female bodies and mother earth. Their use and abuse, as well as the need to appreciate and emancipate them. Each proposal represents intense days of documentation and personal involvement. It is impossible to see the results without imagining the sensitive experience of the authors in front of the images they deliver. Through forms, actions, and sounds, the four residents add their voices to the chorus of contemporary art.
During our unfortunate national present, this residency and its artists insist on recovering the right to poetry and expression for themselves and their communities, in this territory
where “everything is far away: food, letters, clothes…“ (Humberto Ak’abal).
Despite being the first and perhaps only edition of this artistic residency for Q’eqchi women, this process has set a precedent, in the territory and in the country.
We believe that art has the power to transform realities.
We are a multi-territorial association that seeks to contribute to the regeneration of the web of life, with particular emphasis on water, land, cultural wealth, and the knowledge of native peoples.
Our work is focused on promoting actions that contribute to reverse the climate crisis that the planet is going through, for this we propose to contribute to the regeneration of knowledge, practices, and knowledge of indigenous peoples as a fundamental basis for thinking about political, economic, technological, and environmental solutions.
We believe in the importance of contributing to sustain hope, the conviction that the life to come will be better, if we manage to atomize racism, bad governments and inequalities that sustain extractivism as a state policy. We want to tell a story of resistance, abundance and wellbeing connected to the strength of mother earth.
To see the work of the residency, go to www.maizdevida.com/blog or follow @maizdevida on social media.