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Help the Kogi People to build a bridge

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International artists come together to raise funds to build a vital footbridge for Columbia’s earth guardians, the Kogi.

This fundraiser is running in conjunction with the Jàka Project art auction. You can donate as much or as little as you like. Money raised by this fundraiser and the auction will be donated to Columbia's Earth Guardians, the Kogi of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta to build a footbridge and support their community.

During a trip to Colombia last November London based Swiss designer Gene Closuit and her husband, the French artist Pascal Rousson, were introduced to the Kogi community of the Sierra Nevada by Colombian artist Maria Elvira Dieppe and her friend Jimmy Correa, who has maintained a friendship and collaborative relationship with the indigenous community for almost 30 years. The couple were lucky enough to spend a few days experiencing village life with the Kogi who consider the Sierra Nevada to be the heart of the world and see themselves as Guardians of the Earth. Inspired by this incredible experience Closuit and Rousson decided to organise an art auction to fund the construction of a vital footbridge for their community.

“JÁKA, means bridge in the Kogi’s language so it seemed like the perfect name for the project which will not only raise funds for a much-needed footbridge for their community but has also created a bridge between their world and ours. Funds raised will secure a safe crossing for their people, animals and heavier loads, and will connect the Kogi to eleven other villages. The art community has shown amazing support for the project with donations of more than 50 artworks from international and local artists, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and photography as well as limited edition t-shirt designs by Gavin Turk, Slawn and Cornelia Parker. We also hope this will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the Kogi to help raise awareness about the urgent need to reconnect with the earth and to protect the future of our planet.”

Kogi tribal elder, Mama Juan Conchacala, his wife Java Teresa and their son Marcos (pictured) recently left their region in Colombia for the first time to visit sacred sites in six countries in Europe. On their visit to the UK they stayed with Gene and Pascal in their home in Hackney, visited Glastonbury and Stonehenge and, thanks to Cornelia Parker and Heather Ackroyd, gave a Q&A to visitors of the Dear Earth exhibition at The Hayward gallery, as part of the Southbank’s Summer Planet series.

Over fifty internationally renowned artists including Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost, Turner nominee Cornelia Parker, International film production designer Andrew McAlpine, YBA Gavin Turk, Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, environmental artists Ackroyd & Harvey and Brit Award designer and influencer, Olaolu Slawn (@olaoluslawn) have all donated pieces to raise money for the auction which will run online from 15th September until the 2nd October 2023 at

The Sierra Nevada is one of the highest coastal mountains in the world, which makes it a unique and irreplaceable eco-system. The Sierra indigenous peoples call themselves ‘the older brothers’ and believe they have a mystical understanding and wisdom with responsibility to protect the Earth and maintain the balance of the universe. They have warned us, ‘the younger brothers’, that we are doing too much damage to the planet and believe that we must work closely together to protect our home.

For more information on the Kogi, see Alan Ereira’s films on Youtube: From The Heart of the World (1990) and Aluna (2012)

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  • Newtown Crew
    • £100 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £18 
    • 8 mos
  • Alexandre Vogel
    • £50 
    • 8 mos
  • Jamie Telford
    • £50 
    • 8 mos
  • Hilary Westlake
    • £100 
    • 8 mos


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