© Mélanie O’bomsawin
Inga writer Waira Nina invites Anishnaabe visual artist Glenna Matoush to collaborate with the children and community members of the Inga community of Yurayako, Colombia, and create the illustrations for Waira’s book La vida es una pinta (Life is But a Vision).
La vida es una pinta is a book of 11 short stories recalling Waira’s experiences accompanying her father, her mother and her grandparents in ceremony. The stories speak of coexistence with the territory, and pay homage to the Water beings, the jungle and the traditional ceremonies. They reactivate the historical memory of a whole community, and contribute to passing down teachings on how to live harmoniously.
In the winter of 2017, an artistic exchange took place at the Yachaikuri Educational Institute. During 18 days, Glenna Matoush, assisted by Patti Shaughnessy, Mélanie O’bomsawin and Émilie Monnet, guided the children and community members into making art. Together, they created paintings for each one of Waira’s stories, working on both paper and canvas, and explored new techniques, focusing on texture and incorporating beads into the paintings.
La vida es una pinta will be published in Spanish and Inga in the coming year. A travelling exhibit of the children’s paintings is also in the making.