The Indigenous University is a collective project emerging from countless conversations among the Inga community, with other actors in the region, with architects and a range of scientific and academic partners from Western education systems. The long-term purpose of these meetings is the conceptualization of this future institution of higher education which aims to integrate multiple forms of generating and transmitting knowledge. Weaving this new fabric for the studying, thinking and sharing of knowledge is the rewarding communitarian process documented in this section. We call the meetings “mingas de pensamiento”, or work of collective thinking. The emphasis lies in the oral practice that slowly gives form to the philosophy of the university and its role in the survival of the Indigenous communities and their forest territories. By evoking the core values of traditional knowledge and relations with all beings and by proposing methodologies of learning and transmitting these values, the debates raise many vital questions of our time that resonate beyond the specific geographic context.
Intercultural workshops with Inga education team and academic researchers
Collective weaving is a methodology to organize labor and create knowledge. It is also the methodology we use to co-create the territorial university and Devenir Universidad as a communitarian co-creation, platform for theorizing, collaborative work area, and art project. This process of collective weaving is not always smooth or untroubled, there are frictions and differences, there is harmony and non-harmony. After all, we cohabit. But these conflicts are productive because these differences make who we are becoming in this process. Friction is part and parcel of learning this collective weaving.
The symbols used in the graphics of this platform are woven by the Inga women into long belts called chumbe that are wrapped around their belly. The design of the chumbe is a particular sequence of traditional symbols forming a text that is telling one’s personal history as well as the story of the community. The labor is done in a social context where women converse about the meaning of one’s design. The art of weaving is closely related to the art of life.
Benjamin Jacanamijoy Tisoy
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