Ana Gonzalez Rojas


Reserve Maticuru

In this project (yet to be exhibited), the artist worked for three years with forty Coreguaje indigenous people who had been displaced from a reserve in Caquetá because of violence from illegal armed groups, the recruitment of minors and fights over land for coca crops. The idea was to work with families in Bogotá making necklaces with what they had brought from their lands, gathered from the natural world and their territories now poisoned by fumigations. Twenty-five necklaces were made from feathers, seeds and bullet shells. They were placed in velvet-lined boxes like elegant jewelry. The idea was to exhibit them and show the viewer the challenges facing the Maticuru, who barely speak Spanish, barely understand the language of the city and who have had to endure someone else’s war.

Despite all of the efforts to exhibit the necklaces, to show a reality of forced displacement, hunger and environmental damage, to knock on the doors of the Social Action initiative, the Presidency, the National Center for Historical Memory, Universidad de los Andes, etc., no one has committed to exhibiting these necklaces. The forty displaced indigenous persons, after awaiting help that never came, returned to their reserve and remain at the mercy of the latest drug traffickers. Two of them were murdered and to date no one knows where the rest of these families are in Caquetá. Only the twenty-five necklaces remain to bear witness.