Visit to Monquentiva

 

I joined Mónica Amador in her visit to Monquentiva. This border neighbourhood (between Caquetá and Guatavita) was blurred on my arrival the dense fog didn’t allow me to see much but the freshness of the air could be felt. Suddenly, the fog disappeared and I could see the inhabited space interweaved with the forest; not only by humans but also cows who are an important occupation in this neighbourhood. 

Routines and time shift, locals immerse themselves into the natural rhythm of animals in this case cows who have to be milked a number of times per day. This milk is collected and brought to the cooperative named Colega who administers and distributes the milk.

 

Rain and cold also shift, it is colder here therefore the kitchen becomes a very important space for socialisation. In this place I could feel closeness and a familiar atmosphere sharing food and hot drinks together. It is there that I had the opportunity to witness the social dynamics of this vereda. This short visit gave me a glimpse of how they live. Gestures, habits, forms of communication are important aspects of these dynamics is not the most. The kitchen run by women is one of the main pillars of this community. A special detail arising from an observation was a window, in particular this window had many flowers planted by the chef of the meal. This hidden garden gives a visual display of the care of the women in such a context. 

After the intense rain I had the chance to explore the neighbourhood with my camera, observing and paying attention to detail in what I could encounter. The following

 notes come from that experience:

Walking

Waiting

Fluid time

Observation

Sharpen the listening 

Human and non-human

Multispecies 

Grass

Surface of encounters

Human activity

Territory

Cows

Water bodies

Rain

Latency

Signs

Meeting points

Pathways

Horizon in altitude

Visual borders

Chained mountains

Embracing clouds

Protecting mountaints

Feeling the subtle

Traces

Resources

Forest

Making the invisible visible

Milk activity

Family encounters

Private and public get merged

Flowers of intimacy

Hidden

The natural

 

This personal observations are just a brief description of this location and the tone of this writing is personal and intuitive based on encounters. Images illustrate this narrative. 

Text and photos by Seila Fernández Arconada