Luis Ortiz

The Mountains Travel

In Colombia, the mountains have been elevated by different political actors to symbolize the resistance of marginalized peoples against the colonial and capitalist necroregimes. However, increasingly, extractivist dynamics have incorporated many of these places into global value chains. Additionally, migrational movements flow parallel to the nature/capital movements, first inside Colombia from the land to the city and then to the Global North.

In this way body-territories travel to places far away from their origin. From these phenomena of deterritorialization the question arises, how to re-relate with the mountains? The concept of relational ontology emphasize the interconnectivity and vulnerability of life. It exemplifies the need for a understanding of humanity with a deep relation to nature, the spiritual dimension of it and to others beings. The deterritorialization in form of extractivism and migration interrupts these relations with the territories, their beings and ultimately with our own being that depends on the relation with nature and the others.The spaces that are created due to these processes of alienation between places, different human conditions and in people themselves erode the existence and drive a capitalist non-life. But these are also the spaces where mountains travel, where fog touches them, where birds cross from one place to another. And so it is these same ambiguous spaces where new ways of relating are experienced and emerge and where new ways of being in the non-total can be achieve.

Through feeling-thinking with the mountain and from an ambivalent “mestizx” Ch’-ixi (Rivera Cusicanqui), migrant-cosmopolitan and middle-class positionality, and thus without claiming innocence of the existing conditions of power; this research rehearses ways of “weaving the mountains in the wind”. With artworks that follow an aesthetics/methodology of empathy through practices of listening and exchange with mountain-related communities, this research attempts to erode hegemonic processes of non-being and explore forms of relationship and existence in the commons.

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