The name of the research museum, Xinatli, is based on the term Xinachtli from the Nahua language and describes the moment in which a seed germinates, growing into its life-giving form. The phrase symbolizes creation and honors the potential for metamorphosis. What is a seed other than light and earth transformed through relationship?
Xinatli is an artistic initiative working for greater equity in art and ecology around the construction of a museum. The first designs of Xinatli include a newly arranged stepped pyramid housing exhibition areas, along with art pavilions and a terrestrial institute operated by scientists.
Each of the complex’s facilities is designed to learn from the pluriverse of life within biodiversity and human communities and carry this knowledge forward in art and collective research.
Xinatli is grounded in the decision to contribute to an urgent climate change within the mind, utilizing art and aesthetic perception, an ecologically oriented way of building, and a cultural engagement of all species to help preserve the permanence of all life on our planet.
Architecture by Estudio Juiñi and Studio Viktor Sørless, 2017. Renders by bloomimages. CC-BY-SA
“Until now, museums have usually been a space where power is put on display. A new kind of museum should not be a showcase for supremacy but instead a place that advocates for greater equity: in ecology, in art and in society.”
Fernanda Raíz, a founder of Xinatli
Every living being exists because all others exist. Dedicated to the dignity of all living things and beings and their entanglement with one another, Xinatli intends to hint to alternatives, provide a powerful counterweight to the exhaustion of nature as a resource and help co-create a world that accommodates many worlds.
Alongside the promotion of creative processes, the museum’s focal points include thinking-feeling with the Earth, forming kinship with plants and fungi, and examining nature as a legal subject, as proposed by the constitutions in Bolivia and Ecuador.
Ecological action without decolonized thought is just gardening. Xinatli aims to break away from current processes of alienation, racism and anthropocentricism so that an emancipation toward all living things is possible.
As an ubicacion, a 90-hectare area of cleared forest, previously affected by illegal logging, has been selected for the site and will be reforested in the coming years.
Testamentary provisions stipulate a transitional use of the land, which after one generation will be returned to Earth as an entity — protected by environmental representatives and local communities who will become its sole caretakers and stewards.
The first designs envision a stepped pyramid made of timber, carrizo and earth. Civilisations have been using earth as a building material from the beginning of time in all parts; it’s there at our feet, in the ground, as humus, in essence as a binder for a more-than-humane way of building. Earth can be reintroduced into the cycles of nature and is ecologically sound. Meanwhile, concrete is one of the most destructive building materials.
The stepped pyramid is also a component of Mesoamerican culture – and at the same time, it could be interpreted as a symbol of a class society, the split between the rich at the top and the poor at the bottom. The Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska called for depyramidization, the dissolution of classes. Could the path to a different society be lead through a critique of the pyramid, the pyramid society? The design of Xinatli aims to dissolve hierarchies. The widest layer of the step pyramid is raised from its base to the middle of the building – to the same level as the crowns of the tallest trees, and therefore bringing, symbolically, people eye-to-eye with nature.
Architecture by Estudio Juiñi and Studio Viktor Sørless. Renders by bloomimages. CC-BY-SA
Artistically, Xinatli intents to promote positions, especially artworks which address the threatening finitude of our planet, create ecological awareness, or fruitfully engage with the relationships humans, animals, and plants share.
Respecting the validity of artistic production from all parts of the world requires recognition and respectful practice: Xinatli advocates for the restitution of art and cultural goods originating from colonial contexts.
A more compassionate relationship with the world is possible. A world in which we no longer live against earth, but as part of it. In order to arrive at this destination, a less self-centered and more earth-centered world view is needed.
Xinatli wants to use the attention around the project to create awareness for crucial discourses and cultivate a growing number of collective platforms for human and non-human beings who and which a vision of life in an infinitely entangled world.
From a self-centered world view to earth-centered world view.
Original essays, scientific rigor, experimental narratives: Xinatli "Pluriversos" aims to present a growing number of perspectives on climate change.
Published May. 14, 2021
Western rational thinking prevents a compassionate relationship with the world. Conversely, the Global North could learn from the wisdom traditions of pueblos originarios to form an ecology of reciprocity. ~ read more
Published Jan. 05, 2022
Biopiracy refers to the corporate appropriation of life (plants, animals and their components) with the help of intellectual property rights. It is a situation in which mostly the knowledge of pueblos originarios is used by others for profit, without permission from and with little or no compensation or recognition. An upcoming reader why we have to stop patenting life and the knowledge of its use.
Will be published in April 2022
~ First drafts Xinatli
~ Setting up a non-profit organization
~ Opening design process
~ First project funding artists
xinatli – museo de investigación artística
xinatli is an artist-led initiative that seeks to spark new discourses, and ultimately build plattforms that advocate for greater ecological and social equity.
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