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The order of kené designs can be understood as a visual manifesto of the commitment to the core values of Shipibo ethics, and to protocols of conviviality, reciprocity, and kinship that extends beyond the human to animal, plant, land, and water. It is within these principles that the Shipibo Conibo Center collaborations are rooted.

This implies an understanding that the work of art, the work of environmental activism and the struggle towards Indigenous sovereignty cannot be separated; they must move forward on the same path. ​As a result, kené designs become charged politically, as an emblem of artistic activism. They are on the flag waving over the visions of a unified Shipibo Nation; and the healing power of the patterns now extends to the territorial dimension.

The Shipibo Conibo Center collaborations are part of an effort intended to overstep the colonial paradigms that have separated Indigenous artists from the contemporary art setting. These partnerships aim to set up a model of how to possibly rejoin the realms of art, healing, ecology, and politics that were separated through colonial and neocolonial modes of extraction and representation.


Olinda Silvano, Chonon Bensho, Roldán Pinedo, Lastenia Canayo

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