Comuna is a collaborative cross-cultural ecosystem and alternative education platform that facilitates regenerative education and transformative cultural wellbeing offerings across physical and digital space. The experiential learning offerings of Comuna are seeded with the intention of facilitating generativity through the co-creation of bio-cultural residencies, online courses, and experiential workshops, that explore the intersections of ancestral wisdom, place-making, art and design, food systems, environment, science, technology, and wellbeing. How these themes weave through culture, influence society, and impact our collective systems of healing and sense of belonging.
Comuna has been collaborating with the community of Lachatao, an indigenous Zapotec village in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca for the past 4 years. The community has been walking a path of reconnection and reclaimation of their pre-Hispanic roots, practices, beliefs, and ways of life in communality for the past 10 years. Through our bio-cultural residencies and experiences we have started to co-create a Storytelling Exchange project. This project brings digital and analog creative workshops (photography, videography, mindfulness and embodiment practice) to the youth of Lachatao to facilitate the process of recording oral history, wisdom keeping, place-based bio-cultural knowledge, and indigenous language, through storytelling skills building.
So far, we have successfully facilitated two photography knowledge transfer workshops between incoming residents and the youth of the community. The youth are learning to observe and connect with their environment through the lens of analog photography, and embodiment and mindfulness based creative practices, as pathways to recording their bio-cultural experiences and reclaiming the right to tell their own stories of place.The first milestone of this project is to co-create an exhibit in Oaxaca City and in the community of Lachatao that curates and shares the stories being told by the youth of the community.