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EL MAR ES LA HISTORIA*

¿Qué historias reflejan nuestras aguas? ¿Qué narraciones vierten las corrientes marítimas y fluviales a sus orillas?

  • Sep 21 2021
  • Pablo Santacana Lopez
    (Madrid, 1991) is an art researcher and architectural designer co-founder of Spanish art collective Vendedores de Humo and member of Berlin-based platform decolonizeM21. He is associate researcher at the FH Erfurt and phd candidate at the Bauhaus University Weimar.

ESP

El agua es testigo vivo de la agresividad del extractivismo internacional ejercida por el norte global contra las poblaciones y territorios del sur global. Las violencias coloniales aún hoy se perpetúan a través de la destrucción y expolio del patrimonio material e inmaterial de los territorios colonizados. Las lógicas coloniales se perpetúan dentro de los discursos y sobre todo en la posesión y exposición de estos objetos /sujetos. 

Esta es una historia sobre el agua. el agua de la lluvia, que llega al río, que desemboca en el mar, que atraviesa el océano, que llega a puerto y regresa a la nubes para hacerse lluvia. Corrientes de agua recorren el Spree, el Havel, y el Elba, cruzando el Atlántico, y llegando hasta el Aby Abyala. 

Esta es una historia sobre la historia. sobre recorrer las distancias del tiempo y del espacio que nos separan, sobre los espacios y los tiempos que nos recorren.  497 años,  que han pasado desde la adquisición del Callao en Lima por manos europeas en 1532.  7042 millas,  que separan las orillas de la isla de los museos (Berlín) del puerto de Callao en Lima.Moldeadas por el tiempo y movidas por las mareas, 7042 millas de aguas entre Berlín y Lima forman un camino de agua testigo del tiempo colonial que aún persiste. lo agitan fantasmas reconstruidos. lo agitan heridas abiertas.

Esta es una historia sobre el agua del océano Atlántico. el Atlántico negro, un fenómeno fractal, un espacio de construcción cultural diaspórica, fruto de la violencia colonial y la trata esclavista. El agua del spree, sobre el que se refleja y acumulan siglos de historias de extractivismo y violencia, de viajes forzados, de dolor trasladado.

Esta es una historia sobre las historias que navegan sobre las aguas del océano Atlántico. Al igual que el oro de las iglesias españolas, la mayoría de los objetos/sujetos huaqueados por blancos europeos en el siglo XIX, llegaron a los museos etnográficos a través de barcos. barcos que resquebrajaron las aguas del Atlántico como una cuchilla.  Así como el agua conserva la forma del volumen en el que se vierte, sus mareas conservan la memoria de los viajes que la recorren, y sus corrientes vierten en sus orillas los sedimentos de su pasado.

La Isla de los museos, Humboldt Forum,  preußische kulturbesitz (literalmente, patrimonio prusiano) insiste en ser un espacio de concentración de poder simbólico, de poder vinculado con el extractivismo colonial a través del uso de rutas marítimas. 

Aunque la dominación política del imperio prusiano se atribuye sólo en áfrica, su dominio económico y cultural también se extendió por todo el planeta. Desbordó la independización de sus colonias en 1918 para llegar a nuestros días. Las antiguas formas de dominación siguen hoy igual que antes.  Formas como la esclavitud de los pueblos y el extractivismo de los territorios del sur global.

Esta es una historia sobre la mallqui. En 2021, Humboldt Forum expone una Mallqui, un ancestro de origen índígena de una de las muchas culturas costeras, andinas y amazónicas del actual Perú. La Mallqui, que alberga en su interior los cuerpos de un abuelo y un niño, fue expoliada por un huaquero alemán hace muchos años de la huaca de Chuquitanta, Lima. 

Asomada a las aguas del Pacífico, Chuquitanta sufre hoy las huellas del extractivismo marítimo. Su territorio está siendo expoliado de su poder simbólico y espiritual  a través del saqueo y la invasión por el capital del norte global. El norte global. La isla de los museos, financiada por un sistema asimétrico, se convierte en un cementerio profanado de culturas oprimidas. 

El norte global exhibe los objetos/sujetos, expoliados de sus lugares de descanso y respeto,para aumentar su valor cultural, para sostener un sistema económico que  aún hoy destruye a las culturas que crearon esos objetos. Las culturas que sobreviven.  Así como las olas del mar devuelven a la tierra fragmentos de su pasado reconvertidos en conchas, el spree devuelve los restos de un cementerio profanado?

Mientras las heridas siguen abiertas, y el extractivismo continúe, las aguas seguirán acumulando los residuos de un sistema contaminado. Hasta que la contracorriente amaine los vientos.

Firma la petición de restitución de la mallqui aquí.

*El mar es la historia” (The Sea is History) es también el título del poema de Derek Walcott.

__________

 

EN

What stories do our waters capture, what narratives do the maritime and fluvial currents pour into their shores?

Water is a living witness to the aggressiveness of international extractivism exercised by the global north against the populations and territories of the global south. Colonial violence is still perpetuated today through the destruction and plundering of the material and immaterial heritage of colonized territories. Colonial logics are perpetuated within the discourses and especially in the possession and exhibition of these objects/subjects.

This is a story about water. The water of rain, which reaches the river, which flows into the sea, which crosses the ocean, which reaches the harbor and returns to the clouds to become rain. Streams of water run down the Spree, the Havel, and the Elbe, across the Atlantic, and all the way to the Aby Abyala.

This is a story about history, about traveling the distances of time and space that separate us, about the places and the times that run through us. 497 years, that have passed since the acquisition of Callao in Lima by European hands in 1532. 7042 miles, that separate the shores of the island of museums (Berlin) from the port of Callao in Lima. Molded by time and shifted by the tides, 7042 miles of water between Berlin and Lima form a waterway bearing witness to colonial times still lingering. it is agitated by reconstructed ghosts. it is agitated by open wounds.

This is a story about the water of the Atlantic ocean. the black Atlantic, a fractal phenomenon, a space of diasporic cultural construction, the fruit of colonial violence and the slave trade. The water of the spree, on which centuries of histories of extractivism and violence, of forced voyages, of transferred pain are reflected and accumulated. 

This is a story about the stories that sail the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Like the gold from the Spanish churches, most of the objects/subjects that were taken by white Europeans in the 19th century, arrived in ethnographic museums via ships. ships that cracked the waters of the Atlantic Ocean like a blade. Just as water preserves the shape of the volume into which it is poured, its tides preserve the memory of the voyages that traverse it, and its currents pour on its shores the sediments of its past. Museum Island, humboldt forum, preußische kulturbesitz (literally, Prussian heritage) insists on being a space of concentration of symbolic power, of power linked to colonial extractivism through the use of maritime routes. Although the political domination of the Prussian empire is attributed only in Africa, its economic and cultural domination also extended throughout the planet. It spilled over from the independence of its colonies in 1918 to the present day. The old forms of domination continue today as before. Forms such as the enslavement of peoples and the extractivism of the territories of the global south.


I am the river.
But sometimes
I am brave
and strong
but sometimes
I respect neither life and death.
I go down the rushing waterfalls,
I go down with fury and with
rancor,
I hit against the
more and more stones,
I tear them one
one by one
endless pieces.


These colonial logics are perpetuated within the discourses and above all in the possession and exhibition of these objects/subjects.

This is a story about the Mallki. In 2021, Humboldt Forum exhibits a Mallqui, an ancestor of indigenous origin from one of the many coastal, Andean and Amazonian cultures of present-day Peru. The Mallqui, which houses the bodies of a grandfather and a child, was plundered by a German huaquero many years ago from the huaca of Chuquitanta, Lima. 


I am the river that sings
at noon
and to the men,
that sings before their tombs,
that turns its face
before the sacred riverbeds.


Overlooking the waters of the Pacific, Chuquitanta suffers today the traces of maritime extractivism. Its territory is being plundered of its symbolic and spiritual power through looting and invasion by the capital of the global north. The global north. The island of museums, financed by an asymmetrical system, becomes a desecrated graveyard of oppressed cultures. The global north exhibits the objects/subjects, plundered from their places of rest and respect, to increase their cultural value, to sustain an economic system that even today destroys the cultures that created those objects. The cultures that survive. Just as the waves of the sea return to the land fragments of their past, reconverted into shells,  the spree returns the remains of a desecrated cemetery?


The time will come
when I will have to
flow into the oceans,
that I will have to mix my clean waters with their turbid waters,
that I will have to
silence my song
luminous song,
that I will have to silence
my furious cries at
at the dawn of every day,
that I will have to lighten my eyes
with the sea.

The River”, Javier Heraud Pérez*


As long as the wounds remain open, and extractivism continues, the waters will continue to accumulate the residues of a contaminated system. Until the counter-current abates the winds.

"Where are their monuments, their battles, their martyrs?
Where is their tribal memory?
Gentlemen, in that gray vault. The sea. The sea has enclosed them.
The sea is History.

"The sea is history”, is also the title of the poem by Derek Walcott*

//

BARAZANI.berlin is dedicated to the past and present of anti-colonial resistance. In virtual exhibitions, it gathers a constantly growing number of images, objects and documents in a living archive. BARAZANI.berlin is curated by artists, scientists and activists of the decolonial movement.

The BARAZANI.boxes are mobile pavilions on Berlin's Schlossplatz . They connect historical events with imaginary places and open passages through space and time.

BARAZANI.box_5 deals with the ethnological collections of inherent violence, violence that is directed against deities of living cultures, against their religious communities, against deceased people (human remains) and against their relatives.


  • Daniela Zambrano Almidón
    (Lima, 1993), is a Peruvian researcher and interdisciplinary artist with experience in decolonial art projects and research on Andean culture in Peru, migratory groups, memorial culture and intercultural pedagogy and participatory art.

    IMAGES
    Gegenstrom, ©Pablo Santacana López y Daniela Zambrano Almidón

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