Vida Bohemia / Rossanaconda"9

 is an installation that was part of the exhibition ‘Hysteriska Historiska’ in 2018, a solo show of sorts curated by Magdalena Blom from  Gallery Majkens

Marie Theresse Lugger, and myself. The name of the work ‘Vida Bohemia’ is from a song by the interpreter Flor Pucarina that for me/us voices the perspective of the Andean women, great-grandmothers, and mothers who migrated to the cities of the former colonies as a survival journey. The lyrics embrace an invitation to emotions and excess, that excess that is regarded with disdain by western values.

For this installation, I built a sculpture with a metal skeleton as a base, positioned as if it was dancing Huayno (a genre of Andean music and dance). I made the skin with delicate transparent fabric tinted with wax, blood, and hair. Blood of my blood. The sculpture wears a pink skirt that was given to me as a gift from my grandmother; I have taken this skirt to different celebrations in different locations. I installed four monitors surrounding the sculpture showing images of women, friends of mine with different backgrounds of migration, dancing together in different lands and contexts.

On the walls, there is a text poem that starts ‘I’m the savage, the otherness / I’m the savage, embodied complexity / I’m the savage you discover in her own lands / I’m savage you raped and kept as a slave’.


This installation was the starting point for formulating an embodied celebratory critique of the ideas of decency linked to the immigrant woman, focusing on the figure of the bad immigrant woman (La Migranta) who can’t prove a skötsamt liv. The dancing, festive Migranta is annoying to the system because her mere existence questions notions such as empowerment, economic improvement, integration, the emerging and the domestic.


As a migranta myself, I investigate and confront the ways in which these (neo-)colonials and misogynistic practices of states and institutions violate women's bodies, especially non-white bodies that do not account for the reproductive ideals of decency, femininity and motherhood of capitalism.


The name of the exhibition, Hysteriska Historiska, was a result of linking the term ‘Hysteria’ (Hyster = Uterus / ungovernable emotional excess) with ‘History’ (the study of the past as it is described in written documents). The project aimed to reflect on the different states and layers in which the ‘ungovernable’ was systematically oppressed, silenced, and erased.

Ironically – or redundantly – the exhibition was canceled just one day after the vernissage without further explanation.

For me, this action made the installation and overall project a present revision of what was sought to be erased in the past.


[9] Text about the exhibition by Macarena Dussant in Kultwatch, 2019

More about the installations:


Collective mourning & festivity and reciprocity in Andean funeral rites


The deaths of important members of my family during the Covid pandemic led to a personal exploration of the rituals and dynamics of collective mourning with ‘funeral festivities’. I have documented and archived family stories connected to death and traditional Andean ways of dealing with the loss of a loved one, and I address the principle of ayni. Ayni is reciprocity: a ‘service’ by which one person helps another because of the social relationship uniting them. A broader definition of ayni would be the exchange of energy between humans, nature, and the universe. Ayni is regarded as the most important principle in existence, the backbone of life. It states that everything in the world is interconnected and interdependent. Acknowledging the collective nature of grieving, I feel the need to make myself present for them, and them for me, by creating and recreating new rituals from the archives that I have been collecting – contemporary traditional rituals. This project has gained relevance as I am physically absent from my family’s collective funeral rites and therefore need to reconfigure my presence. The impossibility to be part of these celebrations has created a new level of grief and the need to archive. I have reflected upon our relationship with objects; objects that are infused with meaning while/after they are part of a relevant situation in our lives; particularly in the case of mourning. The symbolic value of objects that belonged to the deceased person that becomes the person herself, mementos that embody the person we long for.


At the same time, the importance of these practices has been challenged during the health crisis and the strict restrictions in Peru; restrictions that have been affecting with more strength – and violence – marginalized communities and their traditional practices, usually communities with Andean background. 


I have (re)created these rituals by composing rituals of my own through performances/installations and sound collages. I have presented these in Platform Studios and Eric Ericsonhallen (as part of the collective performance ‘Occam’s Razor’ in Stockholm, 2019), ‘Hogar es donde está el corazón/Home is where the heart is’ (Installation/Performance at Mindepartementet, Stockholm, 2019, as part of Valeria Montti Colque’s performance ‘Corazón de Oro Alma de Cristal’, streamed as part of IASPIS Open Studios 2020 and as part of Altar Collectivo with Creartivista Kollektiva (Paviljon C, Stockholm 2021). I also wrote a poem where I use some of the archive images, which was published in Kultwatch.. More recently, audiovisual material from this process has been part of the installations at the bi-personal exhibition with Valeria Montti Colque “Gunnel & Anita”  at BAS Konsthall in Barkarby, commissioned by Järfälla kommun.




Celebration and Excess as decolonial transgression/ Andean rituality and objects with meaning

This research/practice subscribes to the theory of a multilinear-cyclic timeline where the past and future are contained in the present. This understanding of time is a decolonial practice and episteme developed by Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui. In this path, decolonial feminist Yuderkys Espinosa proposes dismantling the idea of modernity as the ultimate thead of human linear development. Her theoretical work questions the idea of progress in the narratives of liberation and queer identities in Abya Yala.


This work summons the festive memory of our territories and the resilience of our wounds. It will be the emotions of the bodies and the resistance that trigger our rituals.


The bridging of the Cartesian divide between humans as active subjects and inert passive objects (i.e., natural elements). The cosmic vision of the Andes is animistic, with elements that function like human entities with social identities. Even today, people from Andean regions are deeply concerned about their places and objects, which is expressed through daily work and rituals.

 II-Celebration and Excess as decolonial transgression


List of artworks on this  page (From above)

- First media: Video ‘Criminalized Motherhoods’ performance with Sarai Alvarez in Paviljon C, 2022. Video by Maria Jose Peralta and Moshina Productions.


- Second media: Slide of images from different moments where I have performed with Chonguinada masks.


- Third media: Video and image ‘Hysteriska Historiska’, 2018 ABF-huset.


- Fourth and fifth media: Video made from the documentation of my grandfather's funeral, in 2019. Part of Fiestas Funerarias. Image Slide with images from Fiestas Funerarias from different moments.


- Sixth media: Sound collage performance at Platform studios as part of ‘Occam’s Razor’, a collective exhibition by CPS post-graduate program in KKH, 2019



Carnivalesque, masks and mockery as resistance


(...)History records that when the indigenous people received the Spaniards they did so with great masked dances, a sign of ambiguity that dominated their feeling. For the Andean world, the mask symbolized a provocation, an insult to the Spanish, a natural consequence of discomfort and witnessing the abuses committed against those of their race. The mask allowed the natives to machine a form of satire or mockery of their society, against the colonial authorities. This impression was extended until the republic times, based on covert and truly hidden criticism.


(Mucha Gago, 2019::27)[10]

Chonguinada is a dance that originated in colonial times, when the men of the town imitated the dances and gestures of the Spanish colonizers in mockery. Chonguinada was also influenced by the French minuet and the European fashion of the seventeenth century, facts that can still be seen in the clothing and masks of the dancers.


The dances of the Mantaro Valley are typified as ‘a multifaceted celebration through which the crowd allows themselves to express and expose their ideas creatively, critically and even humorously, between themselves and the attentive world’. (Canepa, 2001: 224).[11]

Miguel Rubio, researcher, performer, and initiator of the theater research platform Yuyachkani,[12] contextualizes the syncretism of Spanish Catholic input and indigenous rites: ‘In the colonial mission, what could not be eradicated was incorporated to internalize the values of Catholicism using the elements of representation present in dance, music, and image, which were subsequently assimilated into great festive displays, thus including levels of mixing and syncretism with which we live today, and which sustain the encounter of pre-Hispanic and Christian elements in conjunction of rites of different origins. How this syncretic mechanism operates is essential to understanding the mixing and ‘hybridization’ of cultural processes in constant movement.’[13]


I have explored the reading of the Chonguinada masks in performances and interventions, such as when I intervened in the space of Eric Ericsonhallen (2019) with a sampler and objects resembling a precarious movable home with boxes; at the performance as part of Paviljon C (2022), where I mixed different sounds that were sent to me by friends who are mothers with an immigrant background as a response to the statements made by the Swedish government that criminalized immigrant motherhood by proposing reproductive plans for ‘vulnerable' areas. In 2022, I played with the masks as part of my participation in the 

performance ‘Dansa för mig’ by Rosales Dance Company, directed by Paloma Madrid, where the audience would write their stories around the words Exile and Migration and the dancers would perform these stories. 

[10]  MUCHA Gago, Franciso “Tunantada Y Chonguinada – Raíces y Rastros “ Editora Rios SAC, 2019.

[11]ROMERO, Raul “Identidades múltiples: memoria, modernidad y cultura popular en el Valle del Mantaro” Fondo Editorial del Congreso del Perú, 2004

[12] Zapata, Miguel Rubio. ‘Raíces y semillas: Maestros y caminos del teatro en América Latina,’ Lima: Yuyachkani, 2011.