The Pets of ArteSumapaz

We have three dogs and two cats at ArteSumapaz. In reality, we don’t think of them so much as “our” pets, as we are their humans. The dogs, who are all rescues, have an incredible amount of liberty, and will happily follow you to town.

Ray Chimba

Ray Chimba was the first of our dogs. He trotted up the driveway one day, skinny as could be, and terribly skittish. Since then, he’s gained some weight, and has been the muse of many a drawing and song. The phrase “Re Chimba” is a colombian colloquialisms  for “really cool,” but also not considered polite in some circles.

Continue reading

LETS COLLECTIVELY FIGHT THE CISHETEROPATRIARCHY! (It affects us ALL, not just trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people)

ArteSumapaz as a community acknowledges that gender and sex are not binary,  and not everyone identifies as a man or woman / male or female. Neither are we en titled to know anyone’s gender nor sex nor sexuality and we must not assume! Assuming that being cisgender and heterosexual is the norm is very harmful and contributes to homophobia and transphobia which very commonly turn in to violent  hate crimes and deprivation of basic rights. 

Some helpful and important vocabulary: 

Transgender: relating to a person who’s gender identity does not correspond with  their assigned sex at birth. 

Cisgender: relating to a person who’s gender identity does correspond with their  assigned sex at birth.  

Non-binary: an umbrella term for gender identities outside the gender binary  (there are several) 

Ways to show up as an ally 

  • Practice using various pronouns. 
  • Don’t apologize if you mess up, just correct yourself. 
  • Correct other people if they misgender someone. 
  • Don’t assume anyone’s gender nor sexuality. Use they/them pronouns and gender  neutral language until they / someone close to them tells you their pronouns.
  • Normalize introducing yourself with your pronouns and adding them to your social  media bios etc., this creates a safe space for gender variant people to do so.
  • Educate yourselves and those around you, have difficult conversations. It is not the  job of LGBTQIA+ people to educate you. 
  • Don’t impose cis and heteronormativity on anyone, especially on kids. They are  never too young to learn about various gender and sexual identities.
  • Listen to and amplify LGBTQIA+ voices, especially BIPOC and disabled ones.
  • Use inclusive language, don’t forget that trans men and non-binary people  menstruate and give birth too. 
  • Acknowledge your privilege – it is a privilege to connect with the gender assigned  to us at birth, it is a privilege to not be misgendered. 
  • Make sure your feminism is intersectional, the patriarchy does not only affect cis  women.

GENDER NEUTRAL VOCABULARY

English: 

  • Friends 
  • Folks 
  • Comrades
  • Loved ones 
  • Theydies and gentlethems
  • People / Person 
  • Partner 
  • Sibling 
  • Parent 
  • Child 
  • Royalty 
  • Leige 
  • Highness 
  • Wonderfulness 
  • Excelence 
  • Goddexx 

Spanish: 

  • Diose 
  • Linde 
  • Hermose 
  • Guape / Guapi 
  • Mx. (pre x) 
  • Hije 
  • Hermane 
  • Amigue / Amigui Veci 
  • Chique / Chiqui Latine 
  • Elles 
  • Seño / Señore Marica 
  • Amor 
  • Tie 
  • Compañere 

GENDER NEUTRAL PRONOUNS: 

They / them / ze / zir / xe / hir / ae AND MANY MORE (English) Elle (Spanish)

May we work to create a safe and nurturing environment for all, free of  any form of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any kind of  discrimination. We are not perfect and there will always be new things  for us to learn and unlearn due to years of societal conditioning. May  we stay open-minded and help each other grow and be aware and  concious of all identities and expressions. May we collectively  dismantle all oppressive systems, and make space for all marginalized  communities and folks!

By. Minelle

Healing Trauma through Art

In January 2020, my body was breaking and I had no idea why.

It started with drastic weight loss, grinding my teeth at night, constant headaches, and stomachaches. I wasn’t sleeping at night and was drinking too much. I was irritable, picking fights with my loved ones, and felt the need to isolate myself. My only hobby was watching Netflix. When I went to my doctor with my list of concerns, I burst into tears because I couldn’t understand why everything felt so messed up inside. She diagnosed me with depression and listed the recommended treatment options.

Even then I knew; her diagnosis was only a piece of the picture. 

Continue reading

ArteSumapaz and the Future

I Recently stumbled upon a brief anonymous writing entitled ¨The new human being¨. The title struck me and I read its content.

Generally speaking, it said that the human being of the future will find meaning by aligning himself with nature. They will recognize that they are a part of it, and will navigate in rhythm with its cycles, discovering its secrets and becoming one with earth, water, air and fire. They will honor the sacredness in the mystery of life; and will live out of love because they will understand that they are one with everything there is.

These words of course resonated with me. Even if some do not want to admit it, we are facing great change, the beginning of new times; times for awakened spirits. As expressed by depth psychologist and wilderness-based soul guide, Bill Plotkin in his book Nature and The Human Soul :

¨…we now behold the possibility of a radical and foundational shift in human culture – from a suicidal, life destroying element to a way of life worth of our unique human potential and of Earth´s dream for itself. What lies before us is the opportunity and imperative for a thorough cultural transformation – what ecophilosofer Joanna Macy calls the Great Turning, the transformation from an egocentric ´Industrial Growth Society´ to a soulcentric ´Life-sustaining Society´…¨

-Bill Plotkin

This transformation can be seen most everywhere and with increasing force. There is an important sector of the population that is working for it; writers, philosophers, economists, scientists, film makers, artists, architects and poets who are focusing their efforts towards building a better life for humans and all other living species.

 As time progresses, we are more numerous at promoting this movement toward the encounter with our deeper selves and with the natural world. And when one person becomes awake, their entire surrounding becomes affected and thus, one by one, the process takes place. It may seem slow, but what is most important, is to believe and participate. Each one of us is an instigator of change.

Never before in history have there been so many people and organizations working for a better world, from foundations, schools, intentional communities etc. And our commitment in the ArteSumapaz Foundation goes along these lines.

ArteSumapaz is a space for personal and environmental transformation through its different chapters. The central vision is artistic creation within nature, art inspired by the natural world. Nature, its rhythms, its forms and its wisdom inform creation and art, thought Paul Klee. Klee made Nature the “foundation of his artistic endeavor”. We believe that art has the potential to be a healing force. Likewise, creation and artistic expression are a fundamental part of human nature. And sharing in a community of artists is an important factor for the creative everyday life at ArteSumapaz.

We recognize our wild and poetic human aspects through dance, song and music, ritual, improvisation and al artistic creation as the basis of our mission. Art has the power to transmute and heal wounds and traumas; and it is capable of impacting both the individual and society.

ArteSumapaz is located in a hundred-year-old coffee farm (Hacienda Australia) with an area of ​​116 hectares where we will undertake a project to restore the native forest. Relying on the remnants of primary forest that have survived intact. We will restore areas that were converted to agriculture and livestock, returning them to their natural state. We envision a sculpture park woven inside the forest though ecological trails; a sanctuary for nature and art that will of course be open to the public.

Part of the big picture of this project includes the creation of a small intentional community that will inhabit the land. The members of this community will be the guardians of the forest and the territory, living in rhythm with nature and respect for all life.

Through each of the different chapters of ArteSumapaz we expect to have a healing impact on the local community and the land, in a geography that has historically been hit by violence. We also hope to be a positive influence nationally as a center for arts and culture.

We all contribute our grain of sand. And every contribution is important. And it is the sum of these efforts that will make the difference. When the critical mass surpasses its point of alchemy, the change will be unstoppable and will precipitate under its own weight.

International Women’s Day

We are in a point in history where the old structures inhibiting the full power of women are slowly eroding. Let us continue the journey, and celebrate all women, individually and collectively, who have helped ArteSumapaz become what it is: the women who’ve worked here; the women who’ve made art here, the women who’ve doctored; the women who have farmed; the women who have written, and painted, and sculpted, and photographed, and edited, and cooked, and fermented, the women who’ve inspired, who’ve played music; have sung; and informed, and led – the women who’ve helped us all live; in work and play and fully participate in the richness that is life.

The poetic act of the dance of life

The Artist in search of Totality

When the seed of my father fertilized my mother’s egg, a new organism was born. Initially a Stem Cell; a living being, sacred, made up of atoms as old as the Universe itself and with all the genetic information necessary to make me who I am. This first cell reproduced, multiplying and creating new cells in a magical alchemical process of mitosis.

Continue reading

Books about Colombia; recommended

Whether you’re coming as a volunteer or as a visiting artist, if this is your first visit to Colombia, there are a few really wonderful books that are worth reading. Here are our recommendations:

Continue reading

Founder’s Manifesto

Recently, in meeting with another foundation director here in Bogotá, I was inspired to write my own manifesto:

Global warming. War. Famine. Disease. In the face of these countless crisis we face in our world, we believe that the presence of art provides a deeply abiding affirmation of hope. Inherent in art is a constant questioning of the status quo, of what is established, what needs to be questioned. It gives individuals the permission to look both more deeply within and in the world around them. It elevates the taking of time to contemplate, to observe more keenly the relationships of all things with everything. We explore the stories and myths that abide in our collective memories, that guide us backout of our struggles, both as a people and as individuals.

Continue reading