AKI AORA 2019 Edition 3 : AKA YA/HERE ALREADY
Public Programme - March 1st - 9th 2019, Tulum.
This year’s edition was curated by artist Sally Montes and London-based Guest Curator Sasha Galitzine.
We have invited back Nabil Yanai, Liz Misterio and Unx from Invasorix collective (MEX) to build on their research from last year and were excited to welcome new residents: Wendy Cabrera Rubio (MEX) and Josué Mejía (MEX), Fallen Fruit (USA) and Sebastian Terrones (MEX). In addition we had some fabulous speakers and performers during our public programme including Ana Gabriela Garcia Terremoto Magazine (MEX), Alyssa Nitchun Creative Time, Curator, Writer (USA), Benjamin Lee Ritchie Handler, Artist (USA) and S. Beckett Gookin (USA).
This edition: ‘AKA YA’ proclaims assertively that we are ‘Here already’ an immediate response to the HERE and NOW that AKI AORA´s name has consistently implied since its first edition in January 2017.
AKA is derived from the Spanish word "acá" meaning here and ya meaning "already" or "ready" and it can also be used to say ¨enough!¨ as in "ya basta!"
We were interested in questioning the systemic imbalance that has manifested in the region as a means to understand the impact and challenges the ever more displaced community faces.
For the 2019 edition we invited artists to consider guerrilla tactics in their work as well as the Anthropocene in order to respond to the recent expansion of slow and invisible violence that has come with the promise of economic growth, progress and ‘well being’ as implied by buzz words and ‘aspirational’ branding with terms like ‘eco chic’ while simultaneously disrupting the region´s biodiversity.
The tensions in Tulum between the locals and foreign investments impacting on the environment will be investigated largely by Mexican emerging artists and collaborators who are more familiar with the complexities of the context.
Guerilla tactics, in military terms has implied a small group of insurgents, often using low-tech counter resistance strategies, to infiltrate the system. Our artists considered such tactics to give voice to local concerns, using local collaborators and site-specific research in order to decode the poetics and aesthetics of disruption and include and encourage conversation amongst the public.
Due to the nature of these themes the residency´s programme was developed with a focus on public space. The local sports arena, expo - feria, the cultural community centre, local market and the streets in front and around the municipality, were activated by our artists and used as an open forum to respond to these issues in spaces where everyone had access.
As in previous years these projects and public engagements work as a tool to document and serve as a useful historical archive of the current social, environmental and political intricacies of the area for both the local and international public.