PDF for participants 2018. Tropic. .pdf
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LA WAYAKA CURRENT
Guna Yala, Panama 2018
Tropic 8°N with La Wayaka Current.
PDF for Participants 2018.
1. Welcome / La Wayaka Current Organisation
2. Information on location
4. Living & Workspace
5. Key Information
1. La Wayaka Current Organisation
La Wayaka Current is pleased to launch our 2018 artist-in-residence, interchange
and research project at Tropic 8°N in the indigenous autonomous province and
National Park of Guna Yala, Panama.
Participating artists have been selected from all around the globe to work on
self-directed projects with correlating themes that respond to this environment.
We want to welcome you and look forward to meeting, sharing and working together
in a communal setting in this exceptional environment.
La Wayaka Currrent was founded in 2015 and has since grown to provide an
essential link for artists along with other professionals to remote nature and
cultures. Our work manifests in arts & cultural projects, residencies at
multiple locations, collaborations, socially and environmentally engaged work,
interdisciplinary works and international exhibitions.
This has become vital given the pressing issues the planet is now facing,
through partnerships in remote communities and environments, projects are
developed to expand awareness and create dialogues between these locations to
others in the world. With temporal bases in Europe, South and Central America Tropic 8 ° N, Desert 23 ° S, & Arctic 78 ° N we work with international emerging
to established artists, to develop projects that relate to these concerns in a
multitude of ways.
In 2018, Tropic 8°N will be co-ordinated by the founding directors of La Wayaka
Current, Sofie Iversen and Victor Fernandez with the support of local team
members and assistant project co-ordinators.
Founding Directors Sofie Iversen (UK/Norway) - Multidisciplinary Artist
Victor Fernandez (Chile/Colombia) - Composer & Musician
Local Team Members Ignacio Crespo (Guna Yala, Panama) - Conservationist, Eco-tourism Guide
Gladys Arosamena (Guna Yala, Panama) - Textiles Artisan, Chef
Assistant Project co-ordinators Luz Peuscovich (Argentina) - Artist, Curator
Eduardo Munoz (Chile) - Composer & Musician
2. Information on Location
We will be based in the indigenous autonomous territory of Guna Yala inside a
community on the coastal region between Panama & Colombia. Our unique base for
the research and development of creative projects exists at the gateway between
South and Central America and this will be it’s third year in operation.
This location was chosen for it’s extremity and remoteness alongside the
interesting themes that have potential to be explored here. They encompass
history, ecology, ocean & marine biology, indigenous issues & culture,
influences of technology, socio-political themes and many other aspects that
connect in this area.
The indigenous group that we are collaborating with are named The Guna’s. They
fought a revolution in 1925 to protect their way of life and became the first
politically autonomous indigenous group in Latin America. They protect a
territory encompassing coastline, rainforest and over 365 islands. Their main
source of income is through small-scale agriculture, the export of coconuts,
fishing and tourism.
Although remote, the Guna’s have been in contact with the outside world for many
years. Since historical moments such as the construction of the Panama Canal
1903 and the Congress’s education initiatives sending Gunas abroad 60’s, 70’s,
they have been exchanging with others from around the world for centuries whilst
managing to maintain their traditional culture, knowledge and ways of life.
Due to the remote, difficult to access location and strong protection of the
Gunas this region remains one of the richest biomes on the planet with ancient
forests uninterrupted by industrial farming, roads or the commercial
exploitation of valuable resources.
The Gunas live from subsistence based agriculture. A self-sufficiency farming
system in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed themselves and
their families. The output is mostly for local requirements with little or no
surplus trade. They are protectors of nature, thus flora and fauna in this
region is diverse and strong.
The Carribbean Sea is home to diverse species of corals and marine life, most
notably this area is one of the worlds most important locations for the nesting
of endangered sea turtles between March - June. The unique positioning of the
village means it also sits on a river with fresh water tropical ecosystems.
There are also environmental concerns in the area that have implicated the
Guna’s from the global & industrialised world such as ocean acidification, coral
bleaching, plastic pollution and rise in sea levels for island communities.
Geography inc. wider area
Armila is situated in the National Park - Parque National de Guna Yala - home to
indigenous villages, coral reefs, wild tropical islands and untouched
rainforest. During this project we will be based in a small intimate community
of 600 people.
We are working in partnership with the community and their leaders as part of a
larger community project in Armila - Turismo Indigena that aims to develop
cultural tourism that benefits native people leading to economic stability and
freedom to fight for and protect their territory and culture from state
As well as this we are working closely with a Guna family who are dedicated to
working with sustainable, ecological and cultural tourism.
Amenities in the community include a local medical centre, military / police
station and small convenience shops. The village is only accessible by boat (10
minutes) or trek from Puerto Obaldia (40 minutes) through the coastal forest.
In Puerto Obaldia there is a small airport, a frontier / border control, further
medical assistance and small convenience shops. To the east of this town you
will find small beach fishing villages of mixed afro-colombian and panamanian
communities that also live predominantly from agriculture, fishing and tourism.
To the west of Armila sits the entire archipelago of Guna Yala (Guna-Territory)
that includes around 59 island and mainland communities.
We will be meeting at the port of Puerto Obaldia where we will enter into the
protected area of Guna Yala.
Guna Yala, Panama
- Armila, Guna Yala, Panama. Central America.
Arrival . Departure
Please send us an email in advance with the subject title Itinerary and your
arrival / departure info. once you have scheduled your travel plans.
Tickets can be booked from Air Panama from Panama City, Albrook Airport - Puerto
(507) 316 9000
Due to the remote location there are only flights on Tuesday, Thursday or
Sunday’s with limited availability. We recommend to book tickets well in advance
and it is the participant’s responsibility to arrange their transport for when
their residency begins and ends. Our local pick up by boat charter or guided
trek through coastal forest (depending on sea conditions) from the port of
Puerto Obaldia will run on set dates for participants.
Arrival in Puerto Obaldia on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday depending on flights
booked and start date of residency period.
Local pick up from Puerto Obaldia airport to Base in community of Armila.
Introduction & welcome upon arrival.
1-1 meetings with project co-ordinators to discuss ideas and themes relating to
Self- directed practice. Here you will be able to carry out your project in a
self-directed way and manage your own time when developing work.
Group discussion and sharing of works may be initiated from time to time.
Drop off in Puerto Obaldia on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday depending on flights
booked and end date of residency period.
We have curated a program of thematic talks, research trips and workshops to
introduce participants to the area, community, indigenous culture, knowledge and
environment to inform their self directed practice. Participants will also be
free to organise their own exploration and research of the area based on their
individual interests. We will also introduce the local solar power projects and
conservation projects in the area that include the protection of nesting sea
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