My interpretation of the Biocultural University is that of the black jaguar inhabiting the space connecting the sacred points between the Andes and the Amazon. It is the protective spirit that day by day protects this region in the thoughts of our elders, the guardians of the ancestral knowledge of the Inga People. Seen from space, the infrastructure of the University has the form of a jaguar in the state of “samai,” at rest. The black jaguar is an important symbol of knowledge, harmony, infinity and it is the color of the Earth who embraces us and gives us life. That’s why it is so important that the house of knowledge and wisdom in our territory is embraced by the spirit of the jaguar that represents the guardian of such sacred, strategic and emblematic territories in terms of biocultural wealth and political ecology of peace.

Hernando Chindoy

Visit of Tambor site for future University

Visit of Tambor site for future University

Mocoa Meetings, group workshop, ASOMI

Mocoa Meetings, group workshop, ASOMI

The Amazonian peoples have spent millennia getting to know their living forests with whom they have coevolved. Their accumulated knowledge is invaluable for protecting and restoring the forests and the diversity of living beings and cultures. Yet decades of armed conflict and an enduring history of colonial occupation of territories and knowledge systems in the Colombian forests have left the indigneous communities vulnerable, on the brink of physical and cultural extermination, and without a viable system to foster their epistemic cultures.

Devenir Universidad

On a joint field trip in the South of Colombia in 2018, commissioned by curator Maria-Belen Saez of the Art Museum at UNAL, the leader of the indigenous Inga people of Colombia, Hernando Chindoy Chindoy, invited the Swiss artist Ursula Biemann to co-create an Indigenous University to weave together, protect, and transmit ancestral and current forms of knowledge and prepare the young generations for a good life in the territory. They reached out to Inga educators and social leaders as well as potential partners from various academic fields and institutions in Bogota and abroad to hold a kick-off meeting in Mocoa, capital of the Amazonian province of Putumayo.

Together with the Inga community and a team of scholars and practitioners emerging from this first encounter, they are imagining a visionary project that combines indigenous knowledge systems and modern science with an aim to foster peace and protection for the Andean-Amazonian forests and the indigenous communities that thrive in and with these territories.

Devenir Universidad participates in the communitarian process by professionally supporting all aspects of the University project - pedagogic methodologies, pluri-epistemic research, territorial planning, architectural design, cultural reassemblage, communication, ecological regeneration, and legal concerns. Together we seek to build intercultural teams with the different actors in the territory to support these dimensions in the co-creation of the university.


Kami chi suyu maipi kauanchi chi alli yukai Pachamama maipi kaugsanakunchi.

Devenir Universidad also sets conceptual and aesthetic impulses and supports the University project by generating, assembling and communicating artistic and audio-visual productions for memory keeping, for teaching and learning at the future University, and to inform the global community in engaging ways. It is a hub where different knowledge traditions converge, nurture each other, and mutually translate. Devenir Universiad acts as an initiator and aesthetic companion to the future University in the form of exhibitions, events, publications and this online platform.

Visit of Tambor site for future University Devenir Universidad

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