El Tercer Cuerpo

The Third Body: High Altitude Research


During 2022-2023 five people from the Sonandes research tram expanded its exploration to another high altitude location, the Swiss Alps.

The research created a narrative with the similarities and differences between the two territories that share the presence of large mountain ranges.

We focused on the relationship that the inhabitants establish with extraction of resources and the sacredness that surrounds these mountainous bodies.

From Andean practices it was very easy to identify the wak`as in Bolivia. However, it was more complex to identify them in the Alps. Not only because the word is very typical of the Andean region, but also because the processes of extirpation of idolatries in the Alps have meant, together with the Enlightenment, a great philosophical and cultural change that has ended up annulling the relationship that people established with the mountains and that which was not human. 
An important clue to determine the wak`as was the pilgrimage to the glaciers in times of drought. The inhabitants went to the glaciers and through a small ceremony they asked for rain.
This is the trace that remains of the animistic relationship between humans and mountains. The pagan myths have practically disappeared and little is known of the relationship that people established with the wak`as.  
Today the mountains are seen as playgrounds in which humans conquer nature or at least organize it. The landscape and the water from the glaciers, which are one of Switzerland’s prominent resources, are exploited.
Sonandes_research_sound art_ Bolivia
Sonandes_research_sound art_ Bolivia




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