Reimagining the Pacific in Cubo Abierto

Cubo Abierto no. 5 (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Lima)

The most recent edition of Cubo Abierto, the magazine published by our partner organisation MAC Lima, has two pieces related to Reimagining the Pacific.

In the first, Paul Merchant and the Chilean art historian Catalina Valdés are in conversation with Giuliana Vidarte, one of the museum’s curators, about art, ecology and environmental crisis in Chile and Peru.

The second is an essay by Paul on two ways of thinking about ecological art: as a form of immersion, and as a form of rupture. Spoiler: the two need not be mutually exclusive…

We are looking forward to further collaborations – watch this space for news of an event in Santiago de Chile in July!

What’s coming in 2022

“Pacific Sunrise” by kahunapulej is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Reimagining the Pacific is emerging from its Christmas and New Year hibernation, and looking forward to the final six months of the project in its current form. Here’s some of what you can expect in between now and the end of July:

  • A report mapping the varied and dynamic field of ecological art in Chile, with policy recommendations on how to strengthen it there and elsewhere. Produced in collaboration with Fundación Mar Adentro.
  • A new video essay made in collaboration with Professor Catherine Grant
  • A report on our panel at the LASA Congress in San Francisco in May, ‘Rethinking Ecology from the Pacific in Chile and Peru’.
  • Articles on contemporary ecological art in Peru, in collaboration with MAC Lima.

I’ll also be blogging on emerging topics and new stories of relevance – like this one about the danger posed to Peruvian anchovetas by the fish oil industry. What kind of cultural response is there to these issues?

Introducing the Project Partner

We’re very fortunate to be working with some brilliant organisations in Chile and Peru on this project, and in the weeks and months to come we’ll be sharing details of some collaborative activities with Fundación Mar Adentro and MAC Lima.

To kick things off, though, we wanted to introduce the official Project Partner, the Centro de Cine y Creación (Centre for Cinema and Creation, CCC) in Santiago de Chile. The CCC has provided hugely valuable support for the project since application stage, and we’re very excited to be working with them.

Chilean cinema has seen tremendous international success in recent years (thinking of A Fantastic Woman winning the Oscar in 2018), but this success hasn’t been reflected in its distribution within the country – neighbourhood cinemas risk becoming a thing of the past. With that in mind, the CCC is restoring a historic property in the centre of Santiago, in order to turn it into a community centre with a micro-cinema, offices, workshop spaces, an art gallery and a café.

The aim is to explore how cinema, alongside other arts, can help foster a sense of community in the rapidly changing neighbourhood of Argomedo. As part of this effort, the CCC is particularly interested in engaging with environmental issues (and this is where we come in).

Over the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that many activities have had to shift online, and the CCC has adapted admirably, offering storytelling and short films for children via Instagram, among other events. You can find out more about their activities on their Instagram and Facebook pages (in Spanish). And stay tuned for news of our first event together in April…