The Andean diaspora* community in the United States is confronted with discrimination and a sense of dual exclusion from both Latinx and white US heritages due to histories of colonialism and imperialism that continue to impose Western epistemologies across time and borders. Rima(y) Raíz, an Andean diaspora collective based in NYC, NJ, IL and CA, confronts these issues by documenting and sharing inter-generational oral hxstories of the Andean diaspora in efforts to reclaim a sense of identity, alter dominant narratives about their communities, preserve experiences and knowledge of their elders for the next generation, and create a sense of solidarity.
We are inspired by Andean notions of time, space, and community such as pachakutik and the ayllu and we choose oral hxstory as a medium due to its inter-disciplinary, borderless nature. Oral hxstory also acts as a way to decolonize the production of knowledge. The main components of the project are (1) interview three generations across the US-Andean diaspora, including community leaders (2) archive the oral histories in a public website, (3) share and discuss the stories via a podcast, zine, public space installations, and virtual Raymi or parties, and (4) organize gatherings of Andean organizations and leaders to celebrate and unite cultural advocacy efforts.
Coloniality may have traversed time and space, but so has our resistance.
*The Andean diasporic community includes people with South American heritage from Andean countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Hence, Rimay Raiz utilizes the term Andean to refer to this region of South America, as opposed to folks that are strictly from the highlands.
We remain inclusive of the many nationalities in the Andean region, and recognize that people that may identify with diverse backgrounds, such as that of the coast and the Amazon, Black, Indigenous, mestizo, and we welcome all people who identify with our mission and background, whether they are recent immigrants, second generation, or have not connected to their ancestral countries for generations.
Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, United States, Andes, Quechua, Huancavilca, Aymara, Kichwa, Latinx