Biocultural Indigenous University project in Amazonia
The quechua speaking Inga people of Colombia living in the ecologically rich zone between the Amazonian lowlands and the Andes, invited me to co-create of their most ambitious project, an Indigenous University. The aim is to create an institution for research and higher learning toward life-sustaining ecological cohabitation in the Andean-Amazonian region.
The vision for this institution is rooted in the biocultural paradigm recognizing that nature and culture are forming inseparable ecological relationships. Rather than streamlining knowledge into the utilitarian purpose of mastering and capitalizing on natural processes, the biocultural paradigm advocates for the ethical cohabitation between humans and the natural world. In light of the unprecedented deterioration of our planetary ecosystems, narratives envisioning future-oriented alternatives to Western anthropocentric science have gained a lot of traction in the humanities in recent years. The urgency to maintain the diversity of life forms on Earth has clearly revealed the necessity to also preserve the vast diversity of knowledges which coevolved with them.