The traces we leave (Los rastos que dejamos)

A day of active immersion and reflection on the role of arts in contested territories hosted by Cocina Colaboratorio Xochimilco + Food Art Research Network, in Xochilmilco Mexico on Friday 3 March 2023.

With: Mariana Martinez Balvanera, Michelle Buerba, Biljana Ciric, Madeleine Collie, Grace Gloria Denis, Rubén Garay, Maxim Holland, Zoë Heyn Jones, Emilio Hernández Martínez, Diego Astorga-De-Ita, Gabriela Alejandra Morales Valdelamar, Adriana Cadena Roa, Beatriz Paz, Susie Quillinan, Alessandro Valerio Zamora, Elvira Valle Santana

Together the participants shared in a day of action and reflection. We began by walking through the streets of Xochimilco, noticing the way the water shapes the city streets. We rowed together through the canals of Xochimilco with our feet planted firmly on the boat and hearts facing the direction we wanted to go. We participated in Tequio at Chinampa Tlazoltéotl led by Gaby Ale, as a way to hold reciprocal relationships with the territory and its community. Tequio a communal way of living and sustaining local agricultural practices. After this morning of work we were invited to lunch at Chinampa Amapola del Sabor with a menu by Amapola del Sabor a womens collective who are defending the Xochimilco territory through their food practices. We held a “Digesting the territory” tea ceremony and conversation, brewing local plants for tea and we set an intention to share our experiences of the day, reflecting on our practices, our concerns and the possibility for instituting otherwise.

We gave voice to questions about the role of art and curatorial practice in contested spaces and territories. We talked about our experience with working in spaces in which tensions exist between rural and urban, between cultural and ancestral practices and between spectacle and process. We exchanged experiences, failures, wishes, successes. The conversation was hosted in three phased “Lo propio (your own), lo ajeno (the other) y lo posible (the possible)”

Cultural and curatorial platforms that joined: Chinampa Amapola del Sabor Chinampa Tlazoltéotl Cocina Colaboratorio Duapla Molcajete Hawapi Food Art Research Network Study Pattern Collective What Could Should Curating Do?

Video: Rubén Garay Editing: Pablo Chavarría