Introduction to the Afro-Bolivian music
La música afroboliviana
The issue 21 (April 2001) of the Boletín del Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas y el Museo Arqueológico de la Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Cochabamba, Bolivia) is devoted to to the Afro-Bolivian music. Written by its editor, the ethnomusicologist Walter Sánchez Canedo, the paper presents a general overview of the Bolivian communities of African descent and their traditional music. It is one of the few documents dealing entirely with the topic.
Solidaridad en saya
"Solidaridad en saya" is a documentary film directed by Maya Tokunaga Jensen. It explores the revival of communities of African descent in Bolivia and how these communities have used the saya, one of their core identity traits, as a tool of social cohesion and political activism. Through its rhythm, song and dance, Afro-Bolivian people try to claim an identity other than that strongly influenced (and distorted) by Aymaras, Quechuas and mestizos; to challenge the discrimination they have been subjected to; and to claim back their lost rights.
The film can be watched online at no cost.
Projeto Paralelo 15
"Projeto Paralelo 15: Expedição ao Território Afroboliviano" is the account (in Portuguese) of the journey of a writer, a photographer and a guide through the communities of African descent located in the Mato Grosso region in Brazil and the Bolivian yungas, along the 15 parallel of latitude. Both graphic materials and text were published as a sort of "log book", in a blog, which includes a section devoted specifically to the Afro-Bolivian saya.
The Centro Afroboliviano para el Desarrollo Integral y Comunitario (CADIC) is a social organization whose goal is the empowerment of communities of African descent in Bolivia. Its website provides different sections with useful material from journal articles to multimedia files.
The "Miradas" (literally, "Looks") project was launched in 2011 in Rosario (Argentina) based on a mobile educational unit, which visited different primary schools in Latin America developing workshops on observation forms: from the outer to inner took, from looking at the stars to looking at yourself.
One of the stops was in Tocaña, the yungas region in Bolivia. This experience was captured unforgettably in photographs, video and written accounts that can be found on the website of "Miradas".