‘Hocho Part 4: Izabal, Guatemala’ Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

Izabal, Guatemala, is at the heart of the ancestral lands of the Ch’olti’. The sounds recorded are those made by the trucks transporting mena de níquel (nickle ore) from the mines to the international market.

Hocho (Abrirse las orejas / To Open One’s Ears, 2022-ongoing) is a sound work that invites us into a journey not only through a specific geography—that of the Chol’ in Guatemala—but throughout time, since the Spanish colonial invasion to nowadays. How could we listen and learn from the voices of the Ch’olti’, prosecuted and nearly exterminated by the Spaniards in the 17th century, and how could their loss be repaired in an area where both cultural and ecological extractivism has operated for centuries. This piece began as a historical research, which then quickly became a very personal journey for the artist into retracing most of the terrain covered by internal refugees during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996). 

Commissioned by TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for TB21 on st_age, this work was also supported by extra funds from the Inga Maren Otto Fellowship (The Watermill Center, NY). 

Field and voice recordings were made with the assistance of Ameno Cordova and Stef Arreaga.

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Thread:
Politics of Speech and Silence
Artist:
Produced by:
Curated by:
Date:
20/06 2022
Season:
04
Episode:
03
Type:
Artwork
Credits:
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa
‘Hocho Part 4: Izabal, Guatemala’
Sound
7 min 19 sec
Location of the recording: El Estor, Izabal, República de Guatemala
Field recording made with the assistance of Ameno Cordova and Stef Arreaga

Commissioned by TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary for TB21 on st_age and supported with extra funds from the Inga Maren Otto Fellowship (The Watermill Center, NY)

Image credit:
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa
‘Hocho’ (Abrirse las orejas/To open One’s Ears), 2022
Research trip visual documentation
Location: Izabal, República de Guatemala
Date: June 27, 2021 (Day 8 of research trip)
Research Funds: TBA21 & Inga Maren Otto Fellowship (The Watermill Center, NY)
Photo: Stef Arreaga
Courtesy of Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa and Stef Arreaga
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