INSITE Commonplaces is a curatorial platform that aims to broaden perspectives on the political, social, and aesthetic spheres currently operating in local contexts from disparate geographies. The invitation to the writer and curator Miguel A. López in early 2020 was to develop a project situated in his birthplace, Lima, Peru. Two other Commonplaces projects, one in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the other in Baja California (Mexico)/San Diego County (United States) are unfolding through 2025. Each of the projects shares a curatorial framework, which includes commissions with artists, a special edition of the INSITE Journal, and a program of Conversations, which takes place in close proximity with artists, writers, and institutions.
Over the past two years, Miguel, in collaboration with the Shipibo artist and activist leader Olinda Silvano (Reshinjabe) and the curator and artist Gala Berger, conceived and launched his project, Common Thread, in the community of Cantagallo, an enclave of Lima with the largest community of Shipibo-Konibo artists in an urban center. At a time of postpandemic crisis, Common Thread was a trigger for both Olinda and the women from the collective, Shinan Imabo (Our Inspirations), to convey their experiences during the health emergency, as well as their ancestral wisdom through weavings, paintings, songs, and testimonies. While the project was focused on artistic production, it fostered larger conversations about the political, social, and cultural conditions facing vulnerable Indigenous peoples from the Peruvian Amazon, and enabled a space of resistance through collectivity, sustainability, and oral traditions.
The works, interviews, and texts that Miguel
presents in this Journal manifest the relevance of making visible local contexts that resonate in wider
public spheres. It has been a privilege for INSITE to
work hand in hand with Miguel, Olinda, Gala, and the
many colleagues and promoters who have joined the
project during these two years, and we look forward
to continuing our collaboration in the future. Our heartfelt thanks go to Miguel for agreeing to be part of INSITE Commonplaces, to Olinda Silvano for her tenacity and leadership, and to Gala Berger for her integrity and generosity in guiding this project. We also thank our collaborators, Manuel Cornejo and Cristina Gutiérrez from the Amazon Center for Anthropology and Practical Application (CAAAP), Nicolás Gomez and Giuliana Vidarte from MAC Lima for hosting the exhibition Mother Plants, Struggling Women: Visions from Cantagallo, Giacomo Castagnola for the remarkable exhibition design, the designer Alejandro Magallanes for the design of this Journal, Philipp Scholz Rittermann and Juan Pablo Murrugarra for their sensitive photographs of Cantagallo and the artworks, and the entire INSITE team for their dedication to Common Thread.
Special thanks are also due to INSITE’s stalwart supporters, Ron and Lucille Neeley, who through the Atalaya Foundation made this project possible.
Executive Director (MX)
Executive Director (US)
Director of Curatorial Projects