ASUR'S ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL EXTENSION ACTIVITIES



* The Textile-Ethnographic Museum

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Room 6


This is the Jalq'a room. Here there is a different light, a different atmosphere, quite distinct from that of the Tarabuco room, produced by the tones of the Jalq'a textiles. Now the scene is seemingly without light, as the Jalq'a attempt to represent a world inside the earth -- one inhabited by the deity who is the inspiration for the Jalq'a designs. Against the dark depths of greens, blues, and wines, the reds, the red-oranges, the pinks illuminate like flashes of lightning.

The space is chaotic: it evokes a world in perpetual creation of species real and imaginary. For their quality, for the beauty of their characters and figures, and for the daring of their representation of chaos, these textiles constitute a unique human inheritance, worthy of being considered modern art (but art that at the same time speaks of age-old indigenous mythology).

Room 7
This is the historical room. It exhibits the changes which have taken place in the designs during the 20th century, changes influenced by the social climate before and after the Agricultural Reform -- a reform which greatly affected indigenous community life. Here one can appreciate the extraordinary creativity of the last years (the effect of the renaissance in indigenous art program) in relation to the weaving of the past.

Hall of the Weavers

This is an open space where female weavers - and sometimes male weavers - are located which their looms. The visitor may sit down and observe the work of the indigenous artists and may converse with them.

 

THE MUSEUM SHOP

The Shop offers textiles and ceramics produced by those in the Program. The sale of these products - promoted in large part by the existence of the Museum - provides a regular source of supplementary income for these indigenous communities. This additional income has succeeded in slowing the emigration from the countryside to the city, as it has provided the possibility of survival on heavily eroded land, where agriculture is depressed and insecure. It has also brought pride to the weavers, allowed them to organize and administer their own workshops, and placed value on their culture.
In this way the Museo textil Etnografico, constantly visited not only by numerous tourists but also by campesinos, has made possible not only a reinvigorated spiritual movement in these native villages, but also their actual continued existence.

Exhibits

In addition to the regular functioning of the Textile-Ethnographic Museum, ASUR produces traveling textile exhibitions as well. The following are some of the exhibits which have been organized by ASUR:

 
1 "Voces e Imágenes Indígenas," an exposition presented on the occasion of the 6th Conference of First Ladies of the Americas. National Museum of Art, La Paz, 1996.
2 "Renaissance de l'Art Indigène" - Biarritz, Francia. 1996
3 "Renaissance de l'Art Indigène," a show chosen to represent Bolivia at the International Festival of Latin American Culture and Cinema -- Biarritz, France, 1996.
4 "El Renacimiento del Textil Tradicional", a show highlighting the renaissance of traditional textile production -- Alianza Francesa, La Paz, 1995.
 5 "Bolivia en su Diversidad," an exposition organized by the Consular General of Bolivia in Santiago, Chile, 1994.
 6 "Tejidos de Ajllakuna", a show displaying the work of several especially selected weavers-- B.H.N. Gallery of Art, La Paz, 1993.
 7 "Textiles y Diferenciaciones Etnicas del Centro Sur de Bolivia", an exhibit highlighting the textile artistry of South Central Bolivia - Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, U.S.A., 1992.
 8 "Textiles de las Regiones Jalq'a y Tarabuco," a permanent exhibition in the United Nations Building in the city of La Paz, 1991.
 9 "Programa Textil Jalq'a" - Museo Nacional de Arte. La Paz, Bolivia. 1989. 
 10 "Programa Textil Jalq'a," -- an exposition for the Conference on Indigenous Peoples. International Labour Organization, Palais des Nations. Geneva, Switzerland, 1989.
11 "Indígena," -- an exhibit of the Bolivian textile forms which have inspired the work of three Italian schools. Castillo Sforzesco, Milan, Italy, 1996.

* ASUR Publications
ASUR has broadened its cultural mission through new publishing activities, as well. The organization has published five titles, which have been sold both locally and throughout Bolivia.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

* ASUR: Bolivia's Representative to the World Crafts Council

Since October of 1995 ASUR has been Bolivia's official representative to the World Crafts Council. This designation is a great honor for the Institution; it is also an opportunity to explore other perspectives, in order to develop its activities further. 

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