In May 2013 I was in La Pedrera, Uruguay, taking part in a Curatoria Forense artist residency. A group of predominantly South American artists had come together to share opinions and discuss ways to manage and work with arts independently. During this twelve day residency I met Esther Mendoza, who had come from Paraguay to join the debates. She is part of the group Ojapoara who work to promote the arts on a not-for-profit basis in Paraguay.
During the residency it was interesting to learn more about the arts in a country I have had almost no contact with. After the days of debates were over we went our separate ways and kept in touch with our artistic endeavours digitally. Then back in January I saw that Ete was asking for international artists to submit essays on their practice to be featured in the first edition of a free magazine on contemporary arts of all disciplines based out of the capital, Asunción.
The magazine was to be called [CON_TEXTO] PY, below is a short paragraph that the writers released to explain the aim of the magazine:
[CON_TEXTO] PY, es una iniciativa del Colectivo de Artistas Autónomos “OJAPOARA” y puesta enmarcha con el apoyo de CONCEPTO Desarrollo de Ideas y completamente auto gestionada por artistas y gestores paraguayos, sin fines de lucro.
[CON_TEXTO] PY, has been created by the “OJAPOARA” independent artists collective and has been started to aid the development of ideas. The magazine is run entirely by artists and curators form Paraguay who work on a not for profit basis.
I was honoured to be featured in the first publication which was released digitally in June. The magazine is released bi-monthly, issue no.2 has just gone live using the magazine host ISSUU.
I hope Spanish language speakers enjoy this read on arts in Paraguay and the broader Latin America. For lighter bites of art in Paraguay have a look at Ojapora’s Facebook Page.