Runa Kawsay is a long-term transmedia project that explores the nuances of Indigenous identity from the personal experiences of the Kichwa community living in Turtle Island (North America.)
The Kichwa community is one of the largest ethno-lingustic communities in Ecuador, with large populations migrating to North America and Europe since the late 1950s. With sizable populations spread out in various cities across the US and Canada.
In Kichwa, the term Runa Kawsay talks about the everyday moments that nurture the culture that sustains us.
For many Kichwas in the diaspora our everyday personal rituals and collective celebrations become a blend of deeply rooted traditions with adaptations that reflect our realities in the different territories we occupy.
By starting this long term project with my own story of migration and reconnection to my Kichwa roots in the first chapter Wilkay, I encourage my collaborators to use art-making and image making as a space for community building, empowerment and by reclaiming our narrative to challenge the colonial practices that have attempted to silence us for more than 500 years.
In close collaboration with members of the Kichwa Hatari collective, the chapter titled Runa Kawsay documents Kichwa families, activists, artists and thinkers as they maintain a connection to their roots, interpret their culture in their own way and continue building the community that they need in various territories across the US and Canada.
Runa Kawsay is currently in progress in Turtle Island with the support of Women Photograph, and the Kichwa Hatari collective.
For full series please contact : firstname.lastname@example.org