Arts & Entertainment

Indigenous crafts, fashion and the metaverse come together in Bolivia

Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Jul 21 (EFE).- Crafts and clothing created mostly by Bolivia’s Weenhayek indigenous women have been mixed with technology in a project to give their culture visibility in the metaverse.

“Our focus is to generate visibility for native artisans and artists who are playing an important role in preserving the culture of their communities,” Impact NFT executive director Alejandro Trujillo told EFE.

The project began more than a year and a half ago, working with a group of Weenhayek artisans, in the Bolivian Chaco, who together with Impact NFT, an organization that transforms art into NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) make these creations visible in the metaverse on a global scale.

To do this, they use “co-creation models” in which a native artist joins a digital artist and an art curator to carry out this process together, Trujillo said.

On this occasion they presented eight pieces that have been chosen to become art in the metaverse, such as a traditional mask that can be used with augmented reality, ancestral fabrics, and vessels, which are part of the collection presented at the Artecampo Museum in the city of Santa Cruz.

“We are somehow changing the paradigm that crafts are not art, that crafts do not belong in an art gallery – we are showing that crafts have all the qualities to be part of these collections on a global level,” emphasized Trujillo.

The artisans also exhibited clothing on a catwalk in which they combine their ancestral knowledge with the use of fibers and natural pigments that highlight the artisan women dedicated to this.

The Bolivia exhibition is part of a project that includes indigenous communities living in the Chaco of Argentina and Paraguay who also use the metaverse to show their creations, but are also for sale from anywhere in the world using cryptocurrencies.

In Bolivia it is not possible to carry out this type of sale due to “restrictions” on cryptocurrencies, but the space serves to give the creativity of indigenous peoples visibility.

“We are achieving a wide diffusion of what culture is, not only Weenhayek, but the cultures of the Chaco and the cultures of the communities of Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay,” Trujillo said.

Over the weekend a group of indigenous women will give workshops on how to make some of their handicrafts in the city.

This project has the support of IDB LAB, Meta, and others, which seek to promote global business opportunities for indigenous peoples. EFE


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