Devenir Universidad (which translates as "becoming university") is a platform emerging from a collaboration between the Inga, Quechua-speaking Indigenous people living between the Andes and the Amazon in what is now southern Colombia, and the visual artist Ursula Biemann. The biocultural university project was conceived by the Inga people to engage with the forest they live among as a "living cognitive territory " that is continually interwoven and recomposed, challenging colonial conceptions and legacies of knowledge-making. The project emphasises plural knowledges, relationships, and dialogues between the Inga and the human and nonhuman inhabitants of their territory.

Piamonte, Cauca, Colombia

Devenir Universidad Platform

Devenir Universidad

The Devenir Universidad platform. Image source: Devenir Universidad [screenshot]. Retrieved 11 July 2023, from https://deveniruniversidad.org/

The Devenir Universidad platform uses art and digital media to gather and share materials generated through the collaborative project. It was conceived by Ursula Biemann as a companion to the Inga-led Indigenous university project (also described as a "pluriversity" or "Iachaiwuasi" by Inga leader Hernando Chindoy Chindoy). The site includes visual and audio elements, ranging from graphic symbols based on chumbe (belt) designs made by Inga women as part of Inga knowledge and storytelling practices, to video archives of collective meetings between collaborators, to audio fragments discussing Inga architecture in the context of the land. The platform also articulates key elements of the project, such as approaching territory as an agent of knowledge, conceiving of collaborative networks as an "organism", and engaging with Inga weaving methodologies to think about questions of labour , knowledge-making, and translation.

In the video above, Hernando Chindoy situates the university in processes of dismantling knowledge practices imposed through violence and enabling other possible encounters, dialogues, and collective community action in Inga territory.

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