Living Traditions: Communities & Cultures
of Central & South America
Watch the recordings from Nov. 11 & 12, 2022 below.
This virtual conference covered a wide range of topics relevant to our area’s communities in an open dialogue about forms of preservation and adaptation of cultural heritage in the multicultural context of American society. The presentations offered insights into the ability of traditions to transform and reflect changes in the way of life both in Latin America and the United States. Presenters discussed how folk and traditional artists explore new themes and stories in their works, employ new tools and materials in the creative process, and identify new ways to connect the past to the present—all so that arts, traditions, and cultural values can be preserved and passed on to future generations.
Social and political changes, localization and globalization, development of technology and communication, and recognition of environmental issues are reflected in various components of cultural heritage. These sometimes add national and international perspectives to local knowledge, ritual behaviors, and artistic interpretations. In other words, traditions are examined not as a frozen list of objects or practices but as a complex process of continuity and change over time. Presenters offered observations on cultural expressions of syncretic belief systems and compare aesthetics and symbolism in various visual and performing arts.
Via Zoom on Friday, Nov. 11
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT – Moderator: Iveta Pirgova (WheatonArts)
6 p.m. – 6:40 p.m.
Recycled Sounds: Brazilian Instruments
Dendê Macêdo (Artist)
6:40 p.m. – 7 p.m. Discussion
7 p.m. – 7:40 p.m.
Newentun: Calling on the Life-Force – Mapuche Hip Hop as Audiovisual Production
Amalia Córdova (Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage)
7:40 p.m. – 8 p.m. Discussion
Via Zoom on Saturday, Nov. 12
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Moderator: Iveta Pirgova (WheatonArts)
3 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.
African Cultural Idioms in Latin America and U.S.
Evelyne Laurent-Perrault (University of California at Santa Barbara)
3:40 p.m. – 4 p.m. Discussion
4 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.
Urban Condors: Traditional Andean Music
Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe (Philadelphia Folklore Project, Los Herederos) and Andres Jimenez (Artist)
4:40 p.m. – 5 p.m. Discussion
The conference offered teachers a PD opportunity to attend. They received a certificate for 4 hours with attendance and engagement.
Programming for this Virtual Conference is provided by the Down Jersey Folklife Center, a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and WheatonArts, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.