Enlazando Raices is a non-profit Colombian association dedicated to creating and producing artistic, research and pedagogical transmedia projects regarding the ancestral cultures and the multispecies communities in the American continent (Abya Yala). The association highlights ways in which the dissemination of knowledge contributes towards environmental, spiritual and collective awareness, enhancing some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as Quality Education, Climate Action and Life on Land.

It all started when three volunteers from the Cerros de Bogotá Foundation began an internal and collective search for a more pleasant dialogue between the eastern hills (mountain chain that extends from south to north at heights ranging from 2,800 to 3,600 meters above sea level, which are part of the Andes mountain range and which contains the páramo, sub-páramo and Andean ecosystems) and the Bogota’s citizens. A search that started documenting the problems of that situation, as, unfortunately, their relationship has been transformed over time by various factors, such as insecurity, marginalization, exploitation, alteration of the ecosystem and so on.

Therefore, the three volunteers through creation and research projects, have sought ways to generate awareness and appropriation, as the Eastern Hills have historical, cultural and environmental importance and represent a landmark and symbol for all Bogota’s citizens.

Bogota's panoramic view from the Eastern Hills. Bogotá, Colombia. Photo by Alejandra Jiménez.

Enlazando Raíces Association, together with various allies, has been taking back the voice of the Eastern Hills at Bogota, as well as has been reseeding a conversation of reconciliation, alliance and belonging between it and the citizens. For the association, collective action and cultural exchange are vital, mainly from two learning channels: investigative and practical-creative, which have materialized thanks to two scholarships won. The first one, was a district Stimulus in 2022, to innovate strategies and solutions from art and culture, in which the association developed a network of multimedia pedagogies (website). The second one, a National Stimulus given this year, is focused on developing and strengthening cultural and artistic heritage projects with the first fiction and nonfiction series, Ecos del agua, from the podcast La Voz de los Cerros, which premieres this December.

The first scholarship is a Network of multimedia pedagogies. This interactive and immersive website development integrates three learning and knowledge exchange sections: La Voz de los Cerros, Nuevas Voces and Enlazandonos.

La Voz de los Cerros is a podcast that talks about the ancestral and contemporary Colombian territory to make visible and give voice to all the beings that co-inhabit there, linking their memories and languages in a shared and collective story. Therefore, the podcast is a dialogue highlighting the richness of our ancestral cultures, biodiversity, landscapes and the infinite multi-species communities that inhabit the territory, where the soundscape and fiction serve as a communication bridge. Furthermore, it is developed as a reflective and sensitive learning portal on the website, based on an interactive map that recreates the path of the walker (the story's main character), interweaving all the episodes together with a collage of photographic and sound recordings that leads the user to visit the setting of each chapter.

Tour through the hills of Bogota (Moyas). Inspiration for the walker. Photo by Alejandra Jiménez. 
Field trip to the Chingaza Paramo. Inspiration for the walker. Photo by Alejandra Leon.

Nuevas Voces is a testimonial record that links and embraces the ancestral knowledge of Abya Yala (continent of America) from videos that compile music, soundscape, photography and voices of different indigenous leaders who are immersed in their cultural territory, in this case, it started with Toronto, Canada. Therefore, this section promotes an intercultural and relational net from an ecological and healing movement in which all beings work together to maintain the life balance on Mother Earth. In the final delivery project, 2022, Enlazando Raíces Association pointed out: “Reseed us as one America, where there is no border, only diversity, plurality and interculturality, where the eagle and the condor come together and where the great serpent of knowledge and life travels… We seek to reseed an ecological movement that involves a spiritual dimension from the integrality of a common and shared territory.”

Interview with Blanca Nieves, a Mhuysqa leader and granny. Photo by Alex León.

The Enlazandonos section is an intercultural and interdisciplinary virtual classroom divided into two parts: Academic voice sheets and sound bank. The first one, is an academic, artistic and informative repository around the cultural and biodiverse territory in which the audience participates; allowing the creation of bridges that converge indistinct realities in a common dialogue. The second one, is a soundscape repository of the different Abya Yala’s territories, which is open to the users' participation. It is in conclusion an immersive experience of inhabiting a space from sound, perception, senses and memory.

It should be noted that the closure of this scholarship project was carried out with a children's workshop, which was focused on sound exploration in the mountain, to sensitize them and invite them to be guardians of sound and life.

Children 's workshop, Nuevo Horizonte School. Bogotá, Colombia. Photo by Alejandra León.

Regarding the second scholarship, the first science fiction series, Ecos del agua, from the podcast La Voz de los Cerros, is being developed. This series is the story of a regular citizen of Bogotá, Luisa, who goes on an eye-opening pilgrimage (Mhuysqa ceremony of walking the Land) through the mountains and seven sacred lagoons to find herself. A transformation will allow her to discover other languages of the world (ancestral and environmental), spinning different territories, times and stories.

Enlazando Raices continues to grow, and it aims to continue to visit other territories to sow more seeds of knowledge exchange that contribute to strengthening ecosophical well-being. The association invites you to be part of this great community, to continue walking the earth to link the roots from your own and inhabited territory.

For more information, contact them on their website.

Recording soundscape in the Tota lagoon. Linking Roots Team. Photo by Alex León. 
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