In Guambiano, the language of the Misak indigenous people in southwestern Colombia, “minga” means ‘collective work in the orchard’. The term also gave name to “Minga decolonial practices” (Minga Prácticas De-coloniales”) – an interdisciplinary group composed of artists Edison Quiñones of Nasa origin, Estefanía García, from the Caribbean coast, and philosophers Eyder Calambás, of Misak descent, and Jennifer Ávila, of Yanakuna origin.
The collective has worked together with other communities in the Colombian Cauca region, in order to exchange ancestral knowledge and give expression to the sentiments, interests and concerns of the indigenous people in the territory. The collective’s decolonial work is a recovery of a “collective fabric” rather than an individual work, and the approach to creation thus withdraws from the traditional logics of art and the Western colonial order. C&AL had a chat with the members of the collective.
C&AL: How was Minga decolonial practices conceived?
CMPD: The collective Minga Prácticas De-Coloniales was founded in the context of the XVI Regional Artist Salon, when visual artists Estefanía García and Edison Quiñones curated the show in 2018. The idea was to decolonize the concepts of “art salon”, “work” and “individual artist”. Later, philosophers Eyder Calambás and Jennifer Ávila joined the collective to complement the theoretical and narrative reflection. Our approach has been, as the indigenous peoples say: to return to the navel, which is the process of articulating ourselves with the communities we come from.