Memory is Alive

The Ayni Institute believes that no real or meaningful change can take place without reclaiming who we truly are and where we come from. As we face a crisis of losing wisdom and memory that spans thousands of years, we must honor and preserve our indigenous roots.

We believe that Memory is alive, that it’s in our bodies, in our oldest temples, in the highlands of the Andes, in the coasts of Africa, in the seas of Asia, and the forests of Europe. For us, Memory is honoring those who came before us, their struggles, their wisdom, and their ways of life.

We Are Running Against The Clock

Rising sea levels, deforestation, poverty, dying languages, forced resettlements, racial disparities, corporate mining and resource extraction have exacerbated the already fragile conditions of various indigenous communities around the world.

These issues come at the heels of the centuries-long effects of colonialism that have attempted to erase or deny their identities and traditions. Churches built atop indigenous temples. Codecs burned. Customs and traditions lost.

Today, we are faced with a choice – do we contribute to the loss of our past and lose the wisdom of our lineages? Do we lose our world’s endangered cultures and peoples? Or do we create real and meaningful change by preserving and honoring the wisdom and culture that survives in our indigenous communities?

“Solo es nuevo el Mundo Nuevo si es nuevo su pensamiento, el que nace de su vida con la vida de su pueblo.”

– Osvaldo Guglielmino

The Focus of Our Funding

The Memory Fund supports artists and communities that are working towards keeping alive the history and wisdom of indigenous traditions. The Fund is guided by a vision of Ayni, Minka, and Ayllu – reciprocity, collective work, and community. Projects and ideas that are funded by the Memory Fund must engage in reciprocity with the indigenous communities they work with, they must acknowledge that no work is done individually, and must act towards building community.

With this vision, we are currently supporting the documentation of the practices and lives of indigenous communities in order to continue their storyteller traditions. The Ayni Institute is aware of how historically documentation has fetishized, appropriated, negated, and imposed values on their stories and livelihoods. We take seriously who we support in order to ensure filming and production is aligned with our values of Ayni, Minka and Ayllu.

Current Projects

The first project that the Ayni Institute has begun to support is The Mysteries of The Andes, a nine film series by Director Jose Huaman Turpo and Producer Alejandrina Calancha. Their vision is to preserve the ancestral traditions of indigenous groups in the Andes and Amazons from a holistic perspective. This means that local indigenous communities share their stories, their culture, and their wisdom through their own voices.

Currently, Alejandrina and Jose are working on the fourth film Voces Que Sanan (Voices that Cure), which focuses on the healing practices, wisdom on life, and message for humanity of the Huachipaeri and Machiguenga communities located in the Amazons of Southeast Peru. This film comes at a critical time where only 19 people are still fluent in the Huachipaeri language. Their traditions, customs, and knowledge that developed over thousands of years are at risk of being forgotten forever.

This film follows the success of their first three films Inkarri, Q’eswachaka, and Nawinchasqa.

Your Support

Memory lives in all of us:

With your help, we can create the 5 remaining films in the series.  You can learn more about the series here.

If you would like to donate to the Memory Fund visit our Act Blue page here.