Amazonia 2021

Amazonia 2021


September 24, 2021
Amazonia 2021
September 29–December 1, 2021
Vogesenstrasse 135
4056 Basel Basel-Stadt

T +41 61 263 35 32
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CULTURESCAPES 2021 Amazonia, the 16th iteration of the biannual Swiss arts festival, is devoted to the voices and visions of Amazonia, its peoples and allies, artistic and activist practices, the wisdom of its elders and the words of writers, scientists, and protectors, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The Amazonian edition weaves itself along the thematic lines of the river and the forest, decolonization, socioenvironmental relations, and global social responsibility. Over the course two months in late 2021, it brings together artists, activists, and thinkers from various parts of Amazonia—Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador—whose work will be present in more than 40 cultural institutions in Switzerland.

Amazonia, among many other biomes, ecosystems, or critical zones of the planet, is a space where extractive colonial capitalist attitudes clash with holistic cosmovisions and the oppressive inequalities experienced by local lives, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Yet Amazonia is also a space where multiple cultural geographies overlap, creating possibilities of different bodies of knowledge encountering each other, lessons in insight and understanding. Amazonia traverses state borders—and all the urgent issues which arise from such enforced boundaries—and unites numerous voices and visions that speak for it, from within.

On September 29, CULTURESCAPES 2021 Amazonia opens with the premiere of La Luna en el Amazonas (The Moon in the Amazon) by Colombian company Mapa Teatro, a futuristic ethno-fiction that merges violent history and present-day reality.

Virtual opening will happen at the Digital Space where a diverse online program will roll out in the course of the next weeks.

Theater and dance program highlights include Christiane Jatahy’s Before the Sky Falls, a decolonial and feministic blend of Shakespeare and the Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa, Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha’s Altamira 2042, a testimony to environmental threats to Rio Xingu and Indigenous people living along it, as well as Lavagem by Alice Ripoll, dissecting the polarised reality of Brazilian society.

Peruvian artist Chonon Bensho opens the visual arts chapter of the program. She draws and embroiders kené patterns that embody ancestral knowledge of the Shipibo-Konibo nation. Also at Kloster Schönthal, at the sculpture garden, Ernesto Neto lands his site-specific installation Earth Hug. Swiss-born, Sao Paulo-based photographer Claudia Andujar who has been living and working with the indigenous Yanomami communities in the Amazon region, will be present in two exhibitions. The Yanomami Struggle in Fotomuseum Winterthur is the first solo exhibition of Andujar in Switzerland. Inside the Amazon in Kunsthaus Baselland presents her photographs from the 1970s next to drawings by Yanomami artist Poraco. Colombian-Swiss duo Felipe Castelblanco and Lydia Zimmermann create an expanded cinema experience for public space. Documentary photographer Victor Moriyama shows a selection of his works from Amazonia. Colombian artist Juan Cortés and Atractor Studio present a multi-channel performance based on migration routes of birds.

Special guest of the music program and artist-in-residence of the festival, BIO—Burned Instruments Orchestra, builds instruments and creates new music from collected pieces of wood. The Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos OEIN from Bolivia collaborates with Basel Sinfonietta and Swiss composer Martin Jaggi for a joint concert project. Rap, hip-hop, baile funk, afro-house, and more are on the program as well.

The full program, including literature readings, city walks, and discussions is available online.

Edited by Kateryna Botanova and Quinn Latimer, and designed by Gaile Pranckunaite, Amazonia: Anthology as Cosmology, collection of oral testimonies, visual and textual essays, artworks, and poetry, accompanies the festival.

Directed and co-curated by Jurriaan Cooiman and Kateryna Botanova

Artists: Luiz de Abreu & Calixto Neto, Maria Thereza Alves, Ursula Biemann, Luiz Bolognesi, Carolina Caycedo, Ghetto Kumbé, Thais Guisasola & Simon(é) Jaikiriuma Paetau, Manuela Infante, Ailton Krenak, Marcela Levi & Lucía Russo, Gabriela Montero, Abel Rodrigues, Lisandro Rodrígues, Claudia Salamanca, Ibã Huni Kuin, Rincon Sapiência, La Yegros a.o.

For further questions or information, please contact the communication department at info [​at​]

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September 24, 2021

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