Since and around 2000, people of the Amazonian community Shibipo-Conibo, live in the ghetto of Cantagallo (Lima). The Shipibo culture is ancestral and mostly known for their weaving technique called Kené. Through a pear to pear learning process with women based in Catagallo, Alejandra Ballón Gutiérrez learns aesthetic patrons of geometrical abstraction123 found in the Kené weaving and in their amazon culture in general and teaches to her three associates, occidental methodologies linked to postmodernism and conceptual art. In the coming year, this cultural exchange will produce new artefacts (design tissues, murals, drawings) funding items of a Research Center for Shibipo-Conibo Graphic Studio (“Centro de investigación y Taller Gráfico Shipibo-Conibo”4), a non-for-profit cultural association of Amazonian design patterns. Through a practice-based anthropology, the center shall rescue the ancient forms, as well as, the modern and contemporary ones in order to understand the evolution of the communities decoded on the graphics and colorimetry studies. Gather in the catalogue of Amazonian design, each pattern will have as well as the graphic the historical, technical and cultural reference associated to the design.

Many of the cultural knowledge is being lost, this project will be the primary sources of aesthetic information on Shipibo culture and will benefit the communities and in general it will help society to know, recognize and appreciate the philosophical and economical value of their art. The recognition of their art will help reshape their political condition, which today oscillates between depreciated and discriminated communities.

Prior to this project, Alejandra Ballón Gutiérrez has worked for three years with diverse communities (Cusco, Piura, Ayacucho and Lima) where forced sterilization took place in Peru during the nineties under Fujimori’s autocratic government. She completed a thesis and published a book on the subject “Memorias del Caso Peruano de Esterilización Forzada”5. As an anthropologist and artist, Alejandra Ballón Gutiérrez uses both theory and practice to contribute to the social construction and reconstruction of her country.

Archive of this research

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