HD video, 17:38 mins. Spanish with English subtitles
This short film compiles materials from workshops, interviews and site visits that the Peruvian artist Alejandra Ortiz de Zevallos has been carrying out among communities that live alongside the Surco river in Lima. This pre-Hispanic hydraulic infrastructure is part of the millenary technologies created to irrigate the desert-plains of the Lima area, now home to a population of some 12 million people who have migrated to the city in successive waves, establishing, in many cases, makeshift settlements that are on the margins of urban infrastructure. Despite its heritage, the Surco canal today is as polluted as other bodies of water that run through Lima to the Pacific Ocean. In her work, Ortiz explores community cartographies of the body of water, delving into the sensory connections and lived experiences that limeños develop with this almost forgotten urban flow.
Alejandra Ortiz de Zevallos
Alejandra Ortiz de Zevallos studied Sculpture at the Faculty of Art and Design of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Since 2019 she has been working with communities around the Surco canal in Lima, intersecting pedagogical methods with audiovisual and installation practice, to explore emotional attachments and community mappings of this pre-Columbian but contaminated body of water. Ortiz is currently working as an art teacher in Lima and designing a participatory workshop of weaving and braiding of the natural fibres that grow on the banks of the river, using the Andean braiding techniques she learned in Moray, Cusco, during a residency with Mater Iniciativa in 2019. Her work was exhibited in the group show La posibilidad de lo común,at Galeria del Paseo, Lima, in 2021, and she participated in the exhibition KHIPU at the Museo de Arte de Lima in 2020.
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