Deadline: Open call

Live and Work in an Isolated Nature with Indigenous Culture Between Sea and Jungle

A wild vast natural landscape with ancient indigenous culture where time and space is fluid...

Description of residency program
Aim of the Residency:
LA WAYAKA CURRENT is an artist-led organisation working on art and cultural projects around the world. We design artist residencies and exhibitions and work predominantly with indigenous communities in wild and rural locations.
We want to show artists intimate worlds that still exist outside of homogenous society. We feel indigenous cultures have invaluable knowledge and culture that is being forgotten.
Artists that come with us will learn about and live with different communities alongside precious natural environments that are currently being threatened by climate change and high consumption lifestyles worldwide. Artists will respond in whichever ways they choose in order to create a network of collaboration using art as a tool for learning and expression.
We will be working in localised, sustainable communities in parity with the earth and each other on a microcosmic scale at our locations to experiment, learn and inspire change for the future.
Themes of the Residency:
La Wayaka Tropic Residency Programme is offering artists a place to contemplate and create new work from different perspectives. The locations we are offer are in remote and wild vast natural landscapes with indigenous cultures where time and space is fluid. Here we not only want artists to experience life here but to learn and forge connections, collaborate, work and think in new ways about our planet.
Location -
Live and Work in an Isolated Nature with Indigenous Culture Between Sea and Jungle. A wild vast natural landscape with ancient indigenous culture where time and space is fluid.
Armila, that in the language of Guna means abundance of iguanas and Sabalo (a native species of fish), is one of the most traditional and cultural Guna communities in the comarca of Guna Yala. Completely isolated sitting between the deep jungle rainforest of the Darien on one side and the vast open ocean of the Carribbean on the other, the only access point by boat. The community of around 600 indigenous Guna people sits by the Carribbean Sea, a vast 4km beach, rainforest, mountain and river. On top of this the beaches here are a nesting ground for turtles to lay their eggs that the Armila native people protect. This includes the Giant Leatherback turtle and Hawksbill sea turtle.
Guna Yala -
La Wayaka Current´s Residency Project – Tropic will take place in the region of Guna Yala, an archipelago of over 365 islands between Panama and Colombia in the Caribbean Sea. The location will be accessible by boat or small plane from Colombia or Panama.
The region is home to the native Guna people who live independently and politically autonomous since their revolution in 1925 throughout this region – labelled by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as one of the richest, most diverse biomes in the world, on the sea and on land.
Throughout this biome live around 40 small, remote indigenous communities of Guna natives. The Gunas live predominantly from the jungle and sea – farming crops in the mountain, hunting in the rainforest, using medicinal plants, building from natural materials, accessing water from rivers and waterfalls on the mainland, fishing in the ocean and from the reefs. The Gunas whilst becoming more connected to the modern world also manage to maintain many of their ancient and spiritual beliefs and traditions
Historically the Gunas have resisted all efforts at colonisation. Additionally, they have been very successful in protecting their territory and culture from all types of outsiders, including small settlers, large entrepreneurs and even state officials.
The organisation of La Wayaka Current is working closely together in Guna Yala with locals, the Schools, Village Elders, The General Congress of Guna Yala and Yaug Galu Foundation for the Protection of Endangered Sea Turtles in Armila to realise this Residency project and bring artists from all over the world to realise their projects in this residency whilst being part of a great cultural exchange.
“We respect and admire the great cultures and we hope to be respected as people with dignity and part of humanity. Now Mother Earth is sick who has caused this? The industrial countries have caused this. It is because in order to become richer they have forgotten to conserve nature. Time will show the world that we were right. Rich countries will know that Guna Yala have a reason to conserve biodiversity. We are the lungs and heart of the planet.”

  • Spiritual Elder, Guna Yala, 2009

Conditions -
Due to the nature of this residency we will be working in respect to the local culture and environment.
Artists are recommended to learn basic Spanish and some of the native dialect of Guna as well as research before the culture in order to make the most of the project.
There are limited resources here as we are in a very remote place.
Time is fluid here things work differently for instance we rely on strongly on weather conditions and the sea that might disrupt programming.
The cultural normatives of the Guna also direct our programmes, artists are expected to respect and participate in cultural & community events when living in the community.
Programming of Residency Programe:
Alongside your self directed working practice we will include a programe of talks, discussions, research trips, workshops and activities in order for both you and the local community to benefit and learn the most possible over the course of this residency project and the cultural exchange. We will also be exhibiting and documenting work in the location and creating an online platform as well as live exhibition at the end of each year.
Self Directed Practice -
We expect from artists to manage their own time in a way where they will be able to realise and complete a project or part of a larger project during their time at LWC Tropic.
We will be conducting weekly 1-1 sessions with each artist where we will be able to arrange logistics in order to realise projects and ideas. We will also have weekly group discussions about each artists projects and a final exhibition for the group, within the community and to document professionally all work made during the course of the programe.
Talks and Lectures -
The talks are optional depending on your interests alongside your self directed work. Each talk will last around 1-2 hours and cover a range of themes and topics related to the subject. All talks will be made by Guna natives and La Wayaka Organisation. Talks will either be in English or Spanish with English translation. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss during all talks. All talks are included.
* Introduction to Guna Culture
* Politics of Guna Yala, History and Revolution of 1925
* Guna Mythologies, Religion and Belief
* The Art of Molas: Guna Textiles with exhibition of mola designs
* Ceremonial Practices in Guna Culture
Artist Research Trips & Excursions -
The trips and excursions are designed to give you information and experience to assist in your understanding of Guna Yala, the local culture, way of life and environment. These trips will offer you a chance to see new spectacular places and give you inspiration to assist in you in your self led practice. Trips are optional depending on your interest and self led practice. All trips will be guided by La Wayaka Current and Guna natives in Spanish with English translation. All research trips and excursions are included.
* Sea Turtles: Night Trek along beach to accompany with monitoring programme of Giant Leatherbacks and Hawksbill species of sea turtle. (Seasonal May – July)
* River and Farm: Trip through the river in dugout canoes to see where native food is grown and locals farm. Here you can encounter spear fishing in the river and swim in the fresh water
* Guided hike to waterfall through the rainforest and boat trip back (2 hours approx)
* Coconuts: Visit to local farm of coconuts – Guna Yala´s largest export and still used as a local form of currency
* 4 Day Trip to Frontier. Local Colombian Caribbean Town with reef spots for snorkelling where you can see fish, corals and sharks: La Miel, Sapsurro and Frontier with Colombia
* 3 Day trip to Anachukuna, Guna community and isolated beach with spots for snorkeling.
* Visit to Guna burial ground to accompany talks on Guna Beliefs and Ceremonies 
Workshops & Presentations for Artists -
The workshops are optional depending on your interests alongside your self directed work. Workshops will have the basic materials and tools included.
You will also be able to meet locals for yourself and find out more about the traditional arts and crafts of the region. (Which include jewellery making, weaving, beading, textiles, making ceramics with indigenous soils, using natural pigments, medicinal plants, carving figures from wood and building of boats, tools and houses)
All workshops and presentations are included in the fees and run by Guna natives and La Wayaka Organisation.
* Guna Beading – Winni: Full Day Workshop in Guna Beading Techniques. Demonstration and making of the ´Winni´ A body decoration all Guna women make with glass beads, thread and pattern making. (materials included)
* Guna Textiles – Molas: Full Day Workshop in Mola Making. Demonstrations and making of the mola involving hand stitching, geometric design. (materials included)
* Presentation of Guna Folkloric Music, Dance and Flute Playing
Other Planned Activities and Events -
We will be running events for the artists and community to be able to share together and create better connections. All activities and events are optional for artists depending on their self led practice.
* Public Film Screenings with community and residents
* Language Exchange with the community
* Working with the local school on various projects
* Weekly Beach Cleaning with volunteer members from the Community – Saturdays
* Participating in Congress ceremony with singing of Saila (spiritual leader ´elder´)
* Participating in ceremonious activities and celebrations and drinking chicha fuerte – a fermented sugar cane alcoholic beverage (depending on time of year)
* Event & Exhibition within community for school and local residents

Duration of residency
La Wayaka Current will be running five residency programmes at the Tropic Location during 2017. Each programme will last three weeks and we will accept up to 12 artists per programme. Dates are below.
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
October 2017
November 2017

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance.
Disciplines -
All disciplines are welcome to apply to our residencies.
In the past we have worked with a wide mix of artists, painters, sculptors, illustrators, animators, installation artists, photographers, video artists, dancers, performers, musicians, jewelry designers, photo journalists and documentary film makers.
Work equipment -
The tools and equipment here in this remote location can be basic and limited. We will be making and building considering the local ways here.The residency is an exciting place to challenge your practice by compromising and using what there is available and developing new ways of making, thinking and creating. The proposals should consider the Guna Yala environment and culture as a workspace and context for their work finding that interesting as a concept to work with.  Below are some of the things that artists will be able to have access to at La Wayaka Tropic.
* Hammer
* Saw
* Machete
* Axe
* Drill
* Sewing Machine
* Solar power outlet for charging any equipment
* Portable solar panels and battery packs for excursions
* Projector (mini picopix)
* Projector Fabric Screen 1mx1m
* Mac Laptop with Photoshop & imovie
* PC laptop
* Underwater Camera (Nikon)
* Digital SLR (Canon 600D)
* Solar Lights
* Snorkel and masks for diving trips
* Mac Laptop with Photoshop & imovie
* PC laptop
* Satellite phone for messaging
Artists can bring personal materials or use what is available at the location. There are plenty of materials washed up from the sea such as large and small drift wood along with a multitude of other things in this wild feral environment we have even found parts of cars and a calcified tortoise shell.
Natural resources can be used – in a respectful way with permission from the community.
* Clay
* Coconut Shells
* Husks
* Palms
* Leaves
* Wood
* Bamboo
* Sand
* Recycled & Found Materials
* Natural pigments
* Driftwood
* Cement
* Fabrics Textiles
* Glass beads
* Calabasas
* Natural ropes
(if you will be needing a large amount of something you will need to propose to us why and what you will be using it for)
The small villages are limited for resources. There are some hardware stores in a town 20 minutes away by boat if you will need something else. We can advise how to transport other specific things that you might like to bring for your project.
We will be offering full technical and creative assistance during the residency.
There will be two leaders of the organization working with LWC’s Guna representatives in order to facilitate projects needs in this environment and cultural setting.
There will be weekly 1-1 meetings, professional documentation handset times daily where artists can request help, materials, advice and so on with one of the leaders of the project.

Artists will be staying in a large shared house in the community overlooking the river, beach and ocean. The house will host 7 artists with two double rooms and one triple room. Double rooms will be given priority to couples.
If more artists are taking part in the residency we have extra accommodation in the Ibedi al Natural cabins shared between 2-3 people nearby in the community. These cabins sit in a garden facing the mountain area of rainforest and jungle where the locals go to collect necessities and are nearby to the other artist accommodation and kitchen, dining area.
All accommodation has been built in traditional Guna style using bamboo with palm thatched roofs. There will be basic beds with mattress and bug mosquito nets, private and shared desk space for working and light along with hammocks for relaxing in.
The Guna Yala live and rely mostly on the local sea and rainforest to provide them with what they need. You will be eating as they do for breakfast, lunch and dinner all meals included during the residency. 

Artists will be able to work in the open air in large vast outdoor open spaces on desert beaches, within the native community or in the jungle in the warm tropical air. In addition to this we will have indoor spaces to work with table and chairs.
You will have the option to work in several areas depending on your project. Both house and cabins have desk space and chairs for working. We will be meeting daily at a house at a central point in the community where there is also a large desk space for working plus teas/coffee.
There is also plenty of outdoor space around both accommodations for working on large projects, installations, collecting footage or just to sit and work. Either in a secluded garden area outside the community (around 7000 square meters) facing the jungle or along the beach (4 km of coast line). You are also welcome to work freely and collaborate within the community with the locals there.
Artists are free to move around the workspaces to find a place that suits them.
The artists should consider the Guna Yala wild and natural environment and the culture when thinking about their workspace and context for their work finding that interesting as a concept to work with.

Fees and support
Currently we do not provide artists further support financially, only the opportunity to work in such a location. We offer advice and letter of support for artists to seek their own sources of funding.
The fees will cover the following things:
* Food (3 meals daily)
* Drink (water, tea, coffees)
* Accommodation (shared room)
* Workspace, permission to work in location
* Workshops and Presentations
* Talks and Lectures
* Artists research trips and excursions
* Anachukuna (neighbouring Guna community and isolated beach with snorkel spots) 3 Day Excursion: Transport, food and accommodation all inc.
* Colombia 4 Day Excursion: Transport, food and accommodation all inc.
* Night Excursion to see the Giant Leatherback turtles nesting
* Activities
* 24 hour guidance and support in case of any emergency
* Creative and Technical support at set times daily
* Local Guna Guide with Ibedi al Natural Guna organisation
* Translation from Guna – Spanish, Spanish – English
* 1-1 meetings about projects weekly with a director of La Wayaka Current Organisation
* All materials as listed
* All tools as listed
* All equipment as listed
* Support in organising your trip via email (transport, advice etc.)
* Access to satellite phone to contact friends & family and to send out emergency signal through GPS (currently no internet or phone signal in these remote areas)
* After support in finishing projects after residency via email communication
* Artist Profile on our artist platform featured online via our website and social media
* Opportunity to exhibit with us in future upcoming exhibitions
Artists who are accepted on to the programmes fees are $1300 USD for a programme of 21 days. 

Expectations towards the artist 
Artists will be expected to complete an obligitory project in their time at the residency preferably documented at location if further editing, research post production is not needed after the month.
We will be exhibiting the progress and work made throughout the residency each year at a venue in London 2017 that is yet to be announced. Participation is encouraged.

Application information
Artists can apply easily with no charge via our website through an online application form 
We are currently accepting applications for October, November 2016 and May - November 2017
We will review images of artists work via their online platform blog or website.
If the artist does not have an online platform they may send uo to 5 images to our email at 
Selection Process
Applications will be reviewed by La Wayaka Current's organisation and leading members of the Guna community. Proposals will be judged on artistic quality, originality, revelance to the location and connection to the projects themes and aims.
We aim to reply to applicants within 15 days with our response.

Live and Work in an Isolated Nature with Indigenous Culture Between Sea and Jungle

Live and Work in an Isolated Nature with Indigenous Culture Between Sea and Jungle


No application deadline / Open call

Residency starts

Residency ends

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La Wayaka Current