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Photo: Gerardo Rosero from The Company "Pies del Sol" in Nariño, Colombia.

Excerpts of Pikajiraá Süma Festival, 2021.

'WAYUU RESILIENCE' A virtual INDIGENOUS FESTIVAL that circulated IN NEW YORK CITY connecting communities from the north and south of America and scholars. From INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S Day to Native American Heritage.

Pikajiraá Süma 2020 (Wayuu Resilience) An Indigenous Festival is made possible with public funds from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).


A regenerative local and international swap or "trueque" of Indigenous ARTivism exchange, a space for intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogue to comprise, to expose and explore different forms of decolonization and to re-build the concepts of indigeneity, history, and power.

Native and Contemporary at Indigenous Earth day

Oficial Poster for the
ARTivism exchange, 2020

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The International Indigenous Festival Pikajiraá Süma was scheduled originally for 2020. Because of the global health crisis, we had two online events: An Indigenous Children's Virtual Contest, from September to October 2020, and an ARTivism Exchange in November 2020. Both events were produced in partnership with the Anthropology Department of the John Jay College at the City University of New York (CUNY).

We had 85 participants registered using the Evenbrite Platform with an additional number of people attended directly. There were in total 523 views. These events featured ARTivism and spotlighted the exchange of the Wayuu, Xicano/Mexika, Mapuche, Maya and Navajo cultures, representing Indigenous peoples from North and South of America. They all discussed the topics of human rights and extractivist policies by multinational 


The Festival took place in April of 2021, during the celebration of Earth Week in NYC, as a virtual contest. We launched a Festival of Indigenous music and dance with more than 40 artists from all over Indigenous America. The Indigenous Virtual Festival resulted in a one-hour pre-recorded compilation of artists; each one had a slot of 5 to 8 minutes.


The participants belonged to Indigenous tribes in the US such as Blackfeet/ Navajo from Colorado, Hopi/ Navajo from South Carolina, Mexika from California. From South America, specifically from Colombia, we counted with the Wayuu group from La Guajira, the Yanaconas from Cauca, and the Emberá Children's Indigenous Orchestra from Antioquia. From Argentina we had participants from the Mapuche composer Juan Namancura. In addition, three different Indigenous dance companies with professional scenic video work, sound, choreography, and lighting participated: 

-       Dancing Earth, directed by Rulan Tangen from New Mexico

-       Coopdanza Inc. & Pies del Sol Dance Theater, inspired on Pastos Culture from Nariño, Colombia. 


The festival had participants from a diverse range of ages, from 6-year-old kids to adults.


The virtual festival was streamed at: 

1. IMMIGRANT HERITAGE WEEK: a minute excerpt on April 15th at 7pm.

2. QUEENS PUBLIC LIBRARY: 1 hour on April 20th at 7pm.

3. BAAD: 1 hour on April 22nd at 7pm.

4. THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY: 1 hour on April 23rd at 6pm.

5. TERRAZA 7: 1 hour on April 24th at 4:30pm.


The last part of our Festival during the same Earth Week in NYC happened LIVE ON STAGE on Thursday 22nd of April at the New City Theater in Manhattan. This live contemporary dance and music performance also included spoken word and traditional dancing. There was also a combination of contemporary, electronic, and acoustic musicians: William Ruiz, Percussionist (Taino), Emilio China Zef Noise and Kris Pierce (Native Electric); alternating with traditional Native American Tuscarora artists John Scott Richardson and Patrick “Little Wolf” Brooks. All of them interacting with Coopdanza's Contemporary dancers: Lorena Jaramillo and Darina Eid Harasic.

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