Intermundos is a non-for profit organization that was created in 2005, we are located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
During the last fifteen years we have worked with music, urban arts, electronica arts, artist residencies, traditional knowledge, permaculture, education, communication, sustainable architecture, food sovereignty. We have distinguished ourselves as forerunners, ground breaking with innovative projects, which are multiplied and enriched by many others.
Since 2005 we have run programs on a constant basis, but we are not an organization, which handles large budgets or has an administrative structure or constant programing. The majorities of our projects have been self-financed and were made possible through the help of volunteers and the collaboration of other organizations. We are not very good at raising money or writing proposals but we are very good executing actions that work. For more information visit the “memory” section of the website.
Through national and international networks we have organized events, created products and made possible exchanges which have promoted the voices, social and cultural processes of the different groups with which we have worked at a communal, national and international level. Here is a little information about our past and ongoing projects;
In 2006 we produced Frekuensia Kolombiana a promotional package of Colombian hip hop culture that included a DVD/CD and fanzine and which was distributed in the United States and beyond. In 2007 we organized the first electronic art and hacktivist festival in Colombia; Pixelazo in Medellin. It was Intermundos that mothered between 2007 and 2013 the musico-visual collective Systema Solar; one of the most recognized contemporary alternative music groups from Colombia worldwide today. In 2013 we started Residencias Intermundos; one of the first artist residency programs in Colombia.
In 2015 we started Mango Jam, which promotes local processes that transform the abundance of local mango harvest for the benefit of the local communities. The Community radio Vokaribe is a community radio that was founded by one of our members in Barranquilla and that exists independently from Intermundos having its own staff and administrative structure.
Intermundos started out as a collective in 2000 in the Las Cruces neighborhood of Bogota; in this founding reunion participated Walter Hernandez, Fabio Romero, Angela Jimenez and Vanessa Gocksch. We started working with the Colombian hip-hop movement making possible a series of workshops in the headquarter of the community radio “Suba al Aire”. In this same cultural center we established an information and documentation center with many books, pictures, records and other material related to the international hip hop movement, which the young people of Bogota could come and consult.
At that time access to the Internet was still scarce and there wasn’t so much information online, which made this center very important to young people interested in hip-hop. At the same time that we were informing the young people of Bogota about hip-hop from the rest of the world we were also informing the rest of the world that hip-hop in Colombia existed. This we did through a very dinamic web site programed in flash exclusively about Colombian hip-hop.
At this time we also produced the first documentary about Colombian hip-hop “ Testimonios HipHop Colombiano Año 2000” which won a prize as “ best short documentary” in the H20 Film Festival in the Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY in November 2002.
After those first years in Bogota we started working in more regions of the country and the web site evolved to become a platform which presented unknown information about Colombia through an unusual design which received various honors and an invitation to participate in the festival “DOT ORG BOOM” PIEXELACHE festival in Finland in 2005.
At this time having discovered the hacktivist and electronic art subculture Intermundos joins the movement from Colombia and brings an educational programing to the Bogotrax festival version 2006 and 2007. It is also the year that Intermundos formalizes and becomes an NGO with three active members; Walter Hernandez, Vanessa Gocksch and Juan Carlos Pellegrino.
After this first experience participating in the organization of the Bogotrax festival, Intermundos organizes in Medellin during 2007 two electronic art festivals called PIXELAZO: ; Jinetes de la Imagen and La Enredadera which are integrated into the Encuentro Internacional de Medellín de prácticas artísticas contemporáneas MDE07 .
The Pixelazo are the first festivals dedicated to electronic art and hacktivism in Colombia and they take place in the streets and parks of two popular neighborhoods Comuna 13 and Santa Cruz de la Rosa; both of which had been greatly affected by Medellin’s urban wars in the preceding decades. These festivals focused mostly on the new technique of live video editing (VJ) and the theme of community and cyber networks. Artists, communicators and activists from Medellin, Colombia and Europe participated.
At the same time, between 2006 and 2007 the second Colombian hip-hop documentary Frekuensia Kolombiana is being filmed. Various artists such as Choquibtown, Kevin Flores, Dj Fresh participate in the project, then unknown, and today headliners in national and international festival. The project includes a soundtrack produced by Juan Carlos Pellegrino and fanzine designed by the artist Stinkfish. 2000 copies are distributed worldwide.
With the production of Frekuensia Kolombiana the musico- visual project Systema Solar is born in 2007 and takes off rapidly and soon requires all of the energy of the Intermundos crew in order to administer and direct the project until 2013. Systema Solar, today has released three albums; “Systema Solar”(2009), “La Revancha del Burro”(2013) y Rumbo a la tierra” (2016).
These three records together with their powerful live presentations made it possible for the group to tour around the world, performing in important festivals in Europe such as Roskilde in Denmark, Fusion fest in Germany, Glastonbury in the United Kingdom. They have also performed in the American continent in festivals such as Vive Latino in Mexico or the Lollapalooza in Chile etc. Today Systema Solar has become independent of Intermundos and follows its own intergalactic course.
In 2006 Walter Hernandez breaks off from Intermundos and rekindles a project he had on standby for the past few years; the community radio Vokaribe in Barranquilla. From this time on the only ties he retains working with Intermundos are through the Systema Solar project.
Between 2008 and 2010 in Taganga Casa Biyuka is built; the private home of Vanessa and Juan where Systema Solar´s recording studio is installed. This experimental and innovative house is fabricated with ecological techniques, some of which are traditional and others contemporary. Its construction includes adobe, super adobe, barheque, ferrocement, bamboo, brick domes, recycled and recuperated materials. A water catching system is installed with sufficient reservoirs to hold water throughout the year. The house has water filtration, dry toilets, passive cooling systems and a recycling protocol which is created to generate 0 garbage. The landscape is designed with a series of terraces in order to retain a maximum amount of rainwater and thus maximize the amount of underground water available to the native trees and facilitate reforestation. The construction process of the house has been documented extensively in a blog in order to serve others as reference and learning material.
In 2013 Residencias Intermundos is launched; an artist in residence program located in the Selvatorium; our little jungle community based in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on the Caribbean cost of Colombia. We offer creators and artists a natural space away from the cities where they may inspire themselves. Through an alliance with the Colombian ministry of culture and with the government of Medellin, we have hosted residents from many different disciplines whom are interested in having an opportunity to work in the mountains and/or near the Kogi and Arahuaco indigenous people.
Between 2015 and 2018 we have organized the Mango Jam; an innovation rural laboratory, which takes advantage of the abundance of mango season, by transforming these fruits into non perishable products. The initial idea was to promote food sovereignty by teaching how to conserve foods and generate a sense of identity related to mango and the arts. By 2018 the project transformed into one of solidarity economy and we were able to generate an income for the women of the four communities where the project was being carried out by selling the products to the hotels of the region. Mango jam happens every year helping to offer alternatives to support socio-economic problems in the towns of Minca, Palomino, Don Diego and Santa Rita de la Sierra. Zones which are very important at a biological level and which have been gravely affected by violence since the 80´s until today. Today Intermundos continues to support Mango jam but has passed the leadership unto another organization of our region.
Because there exists a strong tie with the alternative school FACE; Fundación por la actualización de la Educación; starting in 2011Intermundos participates in various educational processes. Between 2011 and 2014 we opened Biyukaskool a primary school in Santa Marta, unfortunately this project had to close due to lack of interest in alternative education in our region. In 2018 the project is taken up once more with a partial alternative education program and various workshops in the etno-education school of the town Seywiaka . In 2019 we open a small rural school in the Selvatorium where all of the FACE alternative methodologies are being applied and which also serves as a pilot project to develop an alternative education platform that may serve small independent schools and homeschoolers.