K’acha Willaykuna Working Groups | K’acha Willaykuna Llamk’aysikuq Qutu

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Our Unlearning Hour

Our Unlearning Hour is an offshoot of This Decoloniality?, last semester’s K’acha Willaykuna reading group. Our Unlearning Hour is a weekly gathering every Friday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. (starting January 24) at Heirloom Café at The Wexner Center for the Arts for developing exercises of unlearning grounded in indigenous arts and humanities.

Inspired by the visit of Mapuche artist Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste in November 2019and in preparation for future K’acha Willaykuna artist residencies, each week, we will exchange ideas for unlearning exercises as a community as well as space to discuss short readings and other media resources shared by members of the K’acha Willaykuna group throughout the semester. At the end of each hour, we will produce a short newsletter with a summary of that morning’s session and links to resources for everyone in the K’acha Willaykuna project. These resources will be brief and accessible, supplementing the more research-focused ongoing bibliography for the project, started in our last session of This Decoloniality? last semester (and available here).


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Student Curators: Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection

The Cultural Artifact Collection serves as a teaching resource in support of a growing curriculum on Andean and Amazonian Studies while providing graduate and undergraduate research opportunities and curatorial experience. Supported through CLAS Title VI funding and private donations, it is housed as a permanent exhibit in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese (Hagerty Hall).

Student curators have undertaken projects in photogrammetry with ACCAD support and contributed to producing and presenting a national traveling pop-up exhibit, “The Hidden Life of Things: Andean and Amazonian Cultural Artifacts and the Stories They Tell," which includes student-developed digital interactive features. Student curators will work with visiting artists on the exhibit and its public-facing extensions, co-curate and reflect in this applied context on important issues of representation, material culture production and museum/exhibit studies. They will also participate in the Center for Humanities in Practice initiative on curatorialpractices.

Michelle Wibbelsman is faculty curator of the collection. Undergraduate student curators in 2019-2020 are Brandon D’Souza, Frances Dillon, Elaine Louden and Jenna Mayers.

Please email inquiries about classroom uses or undergraduate research to wibbelsman.1@osu.edu.

(Caption: Tukuna Bark-Cloth Mask made from the inner layer of bark of the sapucaia or Ficus tree and decorated with vegetable-based dyes.) 


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Indigenous Arts and Humanities Legacy Preservation, Knowledge Equity and Digital Footprint Working Group

The K'acha Willaykuna Knolwedge Equity Working Group actively explores stewardship of indigenous knowledge works through decolonial information practices.  

Through discussions, flash-lectures, hands-on workshops and community projects, the group leads vibrant discussion on decolonial information practices as well as connects the Ohio State community to Andean and Amazonian indigenous knowledge works available through University Libraries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts Library and the Latin American Area Studies library collections.The group actively works to support the preservation of Indigenous knowledge in response to marked knowledge equity gaps of non-Western languages, cultures and histories. 

The Knowledge Equity working group is open to all Ohio State librarians, students, faculty, staff and community members. Project collaborators include:

 If you are interested in participating in this working group or for research and teaching inquiries with collections please email Eric J. Johnson (johnson.4156@osu.edu) and Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros (espinosadelosmonteros.1@osu.edu). 

(Caption: Inka Khipu (knotted cord) representing coded narrative.)


K-12 Community Engagement Working Group

The Center for Latin American Studies at Ohio State carries out meaningful outreach programs to enhance the public’s knowledge and understanding of Latin America’s politics, business, economics, culture, literature, arts and more. CLAS accomplishes this by supporting teachers from Ohio and beyond through a number of professional development opportunities and resources. Learn more

(Caption: Figurine depicting Aya Uma highland festival character. The Aya Uma or “Spirit Head” mask has two faces — one facing forward into the past and the other facing backward into the future.)


Photograph of etched ball

Sumac Puringashpa: Interdisciplinary Virtual Reality Collaboration Working Group

Sumac Puringashpa – Walking the Meaningful Path: Coming and Going in Andean and Amazonian Worldviews” is a concept-oriented, semi-directed immersion experience in an artistically-rendered virtual reality environment. The project draws on Indigenous cultural artifacts from the Andean and Amazonian Collection, bringing together traditional culture and arts-driven technology with unique opportunities to explore central Indigenous themes, aesthetics and intertextual/multimodal composition.

Project support comes from the Humane Technologies Discovery Theme, The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, The Center for Latin American Studies and the K’acha Willaykuna Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Arts and Humanities Collaboration. Project collaborators and affiliations include:

  • Associate Professor Alan Price, Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design
  • Associate Professor Michelle Wibbelsman, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Professor and Director for Dance and Technology Norah Zuniga Shaw, Department of Dance
  • MFA Candidate Abigail Ayers, Advanced Computer Center for the Arts and Design

We are forming a select interdisciplinary graduate student/faculty working group around this project collaboration in 2019-2020. If you are interested in participating, please email Michelle Wibbelsman (wibbelsman.1@osu.edu).

(Caption: Andean Etched Story Gourd or calabacita tallada presenting a microcosmic view of Andean mythic and everyday life.)


Painting of a village, mountains and a sunset

This Decoloniality? Reading Group

Led by Richard Fletcher, associate professor in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, this reading group is open to interested undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and community partners. The group will tackle timely discussions and debates about/from/with decolonial methods and practices as they relate to radical alternatives to modernity and coloniality.

The group met every other week in Autumn 2019. See our calendar and reading list for more information.

(Caption: Tigua “slice of life” painting by artist Juan Luis Cuyo Cuyo depicting an annual festival in Tigua, while other people work in it.)