Time/Food Berlin, September 16th 2012, 2-4 pm
Price: 1/2 hour
This Sunday, September 16th, Julieta Aranda and guest chef Tisha Mukarji will prepare a Mexican/Indian comida corrida. Following the lunch, Genaro Amaro Altamirano, currently working with Maria Thereza Alves on her project for documenta "The Return of a Lake", will give a talk about his experience co-founding the Valle de Xico Community Museum in the Chalco region of Mexico, which is run by the local indigenous community.
Maria Thereza Alves's work in dOCUMENTA , The Return of a Lake, is a
maquette of historical and contemporary colonial practices in the region of
Chalco in Mexico. The island of Xico was located in Lake Chalco near Mexico
City. Before the arrival of the Spanish, it was the granary of 170,000 people. This
sustainable agricultural practice ended when the land was purchased by Inigo
Noriega Laso, a Spanish immigrant from Asturias, in the 19th century. The lake
was desiccated, its environment severely affected and local natives imprisoned,
enslaved or killed. This catastrophic event in 1908 caused the collapse of the
region’s commerce and adversely affected the livelihood of 24 indigenous
villages and towns.
During the Revolution, Zapata liberated the area. In the 1970’s, pumping
stations were built to carry the underground water of Chalco to Mexico City,
which had desiccated its lakes and was thirsty. This caused the land to subside
and the lake resurfaced, now called, Lake Tláhuac-Xico. However, its waters
are contaminated by raw sewage from recent massive housing development .
Without alternative possibilities for a sustainable use of the lake, indigenous
communities begin to feel pressured into selling their lands for their survival.
An Unnatural Disaster and a Local Community
Genaro Amaro Altamirano, co-founder of the Valle de Xico Community Museum
in the Chalco region which is run by the local indigenous community actively
defends indigenous culture and the return of the lake. The Community Museum
has saved almost 5000 indigenous archeological artifacts from oblivion or
destruction as there is no other institution in the municipality interested in
protecting this cultural patrimony. Genaro Amaro Altamirano is considered by
the local government to be the highest threat to the region for his defense of
indigenous culture and support of a cyclical use of water. Security forces now
threaten and harass him.
We hope to see you here!