Marion CHUNIAUD is a Parisienne currently living and studying in Montreal. Besides the artistic community work she does with the aims of social transformation and social cohesion, she is a researcher in International and Intercultural Communications.
Marion spent six months in Colombia researching the role of art in social cohesion, female empowerment and peacebuilding, in relation to the Colombian Peace Process. She worked with Abya-Yala dance collective in Las Cruces, a barrio popular or economically-challenged neighbourhood of Bogotá. Abya Yala is the original name of Latin America, meaning “land of vital blood” or “land of full maturity”. As the name of the collective, it advocates for indigenous rights, decolonisation and cultural pride. The group take music, drama and dance into different spaces in order to celebrate Colombian culture, commemorate lives lost and affected by the conflict (with emphasis on internal displacement) and open up discussion about how peace should be achieved. Marion accompanied the group in their performances at festivals, in public spaces, in transit zones and in theatres, documenting their work.
To deepen her research, she worked with other institutional and independent artists including visual artists, street artists, museum directors, Hip Hop musicians and employees of the National Centre of Historic Memory in Colombia.
Back in Montreal, Marion is gathering and editing footage. The final documentary, ‘¡Sí puedo!’ (Yes I can!), will be premiered in Paris in April 2018, followed by a panel discussion, and then in Montreal for hopefully more projections.
The collective are set to visit Paris that same month to perform in the street and in community theatres. They are open to suggestions and collaborations and you can get in touch with organiser Natalia through their Facebook page.
Here is a selection of Marion’s understated but hugely poignant photographs , taken throughout her time living in Colombia.