Cant quite believe its been 7 days since we left England, it feels like no time at all yet we have experienced so much already!
Today we went to meet Tomas (arts coordinator) in Lamas to visit and discuss possible sites for a FactoryNights event. Two main sites were proposed – a new castle that was built nearby the local indigenous population and the main plaza which on weekends is home to various cultural activities.
The new castle is being built by a business man from Italy who currently lives in Tarapoto – he sees the castle as a gift to Lamas as he loves the place so much but from the conversations we have had with Tomas and Daniel it seems the locals do not appreciate the building as it towers over where they live. The castle is more of a tourist attraction and there is a charge to enter (another reason the locals do not appreciate the building) therefore after further discussion we decided on the main plaza as the site for the Factory Night event. The main plaza was seen as a place that more locals from Lamas and Tarapoto would come rather than the castle and we do not want to create any bad feeling and jeopardise what Factory Nights could be.
We discussed how to promote the event and decided on a two day event, over 5th /6th Nov which will incorporate a Factory Night and will be a celebration of local talents, highlight the rich history of the area and be a way of everyone coming together to be creative – something which does not happen often. We hope to attract writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers etc and for these artists to attend and gain inspiration from local artisans who will be demonstrating their craft such as ceramics, making chumbes (colourful belts) and cotton spinning/weaving for which Lamas is famous.
Lamas is also known for its local produce of pineapples and making of traditional musical instruments such as pipes and drums so we hope to incorporate this into the event too.
During our day in Lamas we were also able to visit the local indigenous population and watched demonstrations of their pottery technique and weaving of chumbes which they sell to tourists and locals. As we understood it, there used to be more artisan makers but now more people sell tourist items such as keyrings and bags. This area of Lamas is where they still speak the quecheua language rather than Spanish – something which we hope to understand more of during our stay.
Lamas felt like a cultural place as soon as we arrived and had a good vibe to the town and people – it seems to be a creative community and is extremely colourful with wall paintings on most streets and beautifully colourful buildings- check out our photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/67813410@N05/http://www.flickr.com/photos/67813410@N05/
We are also beginning to experiment with our own art ideas such as installation works and stencils using natural materials and doing things by the river as water is such as important part of life here. See some of our experiments below and go to our flickr page for more...