Photograph by Ani Jo.
La Casa de Barro derives her name from a childhood memory of a Peruvian earth house, home to indigenous peoples. The attraction we felt for these constructions has stayed with us, giving us a sense of warmth and safety. What the name comes to represent is a space dedicated to conscious living and relating, to people, animals, plants and the environment; as well as recovering ancestral knowledge and ways of living/being which may greatly help us undo some of modernity’s most destructive aspects. The house will serve as a host for Raw-Vegan dinners, accompanied by live performance art, live drawing and live acoustic Traditional Music and discussions, talks and meetings. The intermingling of these art forms and our presence there as hosts and guests is meant not as an entertainment but as an exercise in listening and having our attention/intention in the well being of the community. As part of our engagement to minimize our imprint in the environment we are committed to limit our use of electricity and/or technology to amplify sounds, or as a means of artistic creation, instead we wish to return to more lively art forms were the materiality of our bodies matters, where our being together generates these artistic expressions, or our expression is meant to be shared, enjoyed, in community. Our aim is to be able to generate culture out of the minimum and yet offer a high quality experience, that involve all our senses and being. We reach out for the least harmful way possible as the best way, therefore as a rule we do not process our sisters and brothers, packed under the name ‘animals’, as food. We consider Ahimsa meaning respect for all life and avoidance of violence towards others to be integral to our well being.
As part of the Raw-Vegan Dinners we will create reading groups, so that those who are interested in being active during the discussions have a common ground wherefrom to engage. Because language is key in order to broaden our perception language lessons will be part of our activities, the idea is to learn together some languages that are marginalized like Haitian Creole, and other languages that some of us are interested in learning like Amharic, Mandarin, etc. All the events mentioned are by invitation and/or by appointment, trusting that people who are participating are engaged with what we have to offer. The idea is to generate part of the income to run the space through the dinners, guests have to pay to participate in them, as well as in the lessons mentioned above.
La Casa de Barro is a Foundation, a space for collaborations and coming together, generating critical knowledge with Practical Decolonization as her horizon. By Practical Decolonization we mean the doing that is beyond speaking and writing, the doing that becomes a habit, a habit of caring for others as you care for yourself.
La Casa de Barro is located at Oudezijds Achterburgwal 199, in the heart of Amsterdam city center. The house consists of four floors, the whole house with the exception of the ground floor. This house is one of the main inspirations for the starting of the foundation.