Warawar Wawa . River Claure



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"Warawar Wawa" in Aymara language (Son of the Stars) is a recontextualisation of Antoine Saint Exupery's book "Le Petit Prince" to the new contemporary Andean culture.

A couple of years ago, Bolivian visual artist River Claure (Cochabamba, 1997) was studying photography thanks to a scholarship at the prestigious EFTI study centre in Madrid when, by chance, the famous novel "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry fell into his hands. This reading triggered a question: what would happen if the little prince were Bolivian? He found the answer through Warawar Wawa (son of the stars, in Aymara), a photographic project that recontextualises the book in terms of Andean culture.

"While reading I asked myself why I imagined the protagonist to be white and blond. I realised it was a prejudice, so I imagined what a little prince like me would be like, dark, with great-grandparents from an Andean community that migrated from Calacota to the city. That's where the idea of the little Andean prince came from, an idea that I developed two years later when I returned to Bolivia and obtained state funding to make it happen.

To develop the narrative of Warawar Wawa, the author interpellates the syncretic identities of the territory, and uses the concept of "ch'ixi" (grey, in Aymara) that Bolivian sociologist Silvia Rivero Cusicanqui coined previously. "The concept refers not only to the colour grey, but also to a way of making grey. The Andean weavers, when they wove and wanted to generate an indeterminate colour or a third colour without having to use an already painted thread, juxtaposed threads of various colours knowing that they were going to generate another colour, so 'ch'ixi' is not only the colour grey, but also a way of creating that is very much our own".

The project also makes a proposal that stops the incessant flow of colonising images that tell history from a hegemonic point of view, and thus stops reproducing inherited ideas. "Once I googled Bolivia and the images that came up were llamas, mountains, coca, indigenous people and Evo Morales. I am not this, nor this. I don't just need to generate images of belonging, I need to belong to them. I am a mixture, I am grey and I am a becoming of juxtaposed cultures".

Warawar Wawa . River Claure


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