Axeamistin Menin
Educational Art

What We Do

Alianza Arkana incorporates creative practices in most of the intercultural work we do. The language of creativity and the arts is a very effective way to bring unity between indigenous and non-indigenous cultures. The Shipibo are a culture, which for centuries have passed on ancestral knowledge through visionary art, song and storytelling. We work both with Shipibo artists and volunteers from abroad in a variety of creative mediums; muralists, artists, theatre practitioners, filmmakers, illustrators and musicians - at times in teams of people from different artistic disciplines - to incorporate creativity into the way we work.

Some of the more urbanized communities have begun to lose touch with the innate creativity in traditional Shipibo culture, so we also aim to re-introduce art into the lives of the young people in these communities. We have organized a wide variety of workshops and concerts involving youth, elders, and volunteers from diverse backgrounds, all designed to revive communal space and share and strengthen the rich Shipibo culture. We have painted environmentally and culturally inspired murals in three Shipibo communities, organized workshops for young people taught by elders around traditional art and crafts, song and dance, set up theatre workshops during school holidays, and run after-school activities.

Why is Educational Art important?

Though visionary art and oral traditions are at the core of Shipibo culture, the current educational system often fails to incorporate the richness of creative language, focusing instead on memorization and dictation. Additionally, changing socio-economic structures within Shipibo communities means that nowadays the passing on of traditions is not prioritized. Our work with Shipibo youth has helped to mitigate some of these issues, injecting much-needed creativity into the curriculum and environment of schooling.

These projects serve a vital role in preserving pride in indigenous cultural identity for village youth and elders alike. Visual and oral traditions are the language through which Shipibo culture has been passed on for centuries; facilitating spaces for these languages to be kept alive provides a platform for the youngest members of the community to connect creatively to the traditional knowledge of their elders. Together, we imagine a new world with roots in the old, and together, we lay the foundations for its construction.

Support Intercultural Education

Your donation to Alianza Arkana helps us provide much-needed university scholarships to gifted Shipibo students, create a cultural center, revive ancestral knowledge and empower Shipibo women and girls.