Corporación Folclórica Encuentros

Museo Colonial, Bogotá ,2019

Corporación Folclórica Encuentros

“Ay aurora
Que linda es cuando amanece
Que bella es la aurora 
Quiero amanecer, linda señora
Quiero amanecer, contigo aurora”

Traditional folk Chocó Colombia

There are some photographs that time, in its unceasing march, lets escape from us the first time around, but it brings them back to us for a second chance at just the right moment.
That happened to me two years ago when the wonders of fate brought these images to me in Bogotá. They are even more precious today in our current context of “social distancing”.  Traditional folk Chocó Colombia
On Sunday, February 24, 2019, it was raining in Bogotá. Despite this, I decided to take a taxi and head to Plaza Bolivar to try and get some good shots. After walking a few blocks, I gave up, resigned and defeated, at the corner of the Military Museum. The gray light conditions simply would not be good for taking pictures, and so I decided that returning to the hotel was the best thing to do.  
In Carrera 6, however, I was attracted by a lovely colonial patio and went into the place. The guard at the door explained to me that this was the Colonial Museum of Bogotá, and at that time the “Feria de Saberes del Choco” was taking place. After a few minutes of being there, music and dance suddenly burst onto the scene, led by a slim male figure raising his arms and his hat to the sky. This I was to learn was Francisco Hinestroza and the Corporación Folclorica Encuentros.
And so the gray of the day was transformed into light and color, and my previous resignation turned into an irrepressible call to action, spurring me to get my camera into the middle of the great party that it seemed no one in the museum could resist the pull of.
The coexistence of indigenous and African communities that have merged with Hispanic culture make life in Colombia a daily show of music and dance, a unique “pathos”, and a sensual stimulus that everyone should savor themselves at least once in person.
The “Corporación Folclórica Encuentros”, brings to the scene the best of Colombia’s cultural roots and the evolution of its Afro-Colombian rhythms, reflecting in its expressions the tri-ethnic culture behind it. 
In 2010 they won first prize in the XII Colombian competition, and represented the country at the Montignac festival in France in 2008.
The themes represented that day in the Colonial Museum, the ones that can be seen in the images in this gallery and in the accompanying video, were “comparsa san pachera” and the predominant rhythms of the North Pacific, “abozao”, “jota”, and “tamborito ”, music and dance that portrays the joy of black men and women and the legacy of their elders.
Franciscos Hinestroza, the group’s director, is a dancer, choreographer, and university professor whose work spans Colombia, Europe and the United States.  Traditional folk Chocó Colombia
El Chocó is a region rich in biological and cultural diversity, located in the northwest of the country, in the Andean and Pacific regions. This territory full of contrasts is inhabited by black communities,  mixed-race peoples, and four indigenous populations:
“embera”, “wounaan”, “tule” and “kuna”. Its inhabitants, the “people of the river and jungle”, have a very close relationship with nature, with their ancestors, and with their cultural traditions.
Every year, from September 3 to October 5, the twelve Franciscan neighborhoods of the city of Quibdó organize the “Fiesta de San Pacho”. Traditional folk Chocó Colombia
On October 3, the image of the Patron Saint goes by boat down the Atrato River, and on October 4, the crowd greets the dawn by singing devout hymns before participating in the Great Procession of the Saint.
The “San Pacho” Festival is the most important symbolic event in the life of the city of Quibdó. It strengthens the identity of the Department of Chocó and fosters the social cohesion of the community.
Pablo Munini @ Milano  February 2021
Edition of photos and video : Fernando Casanueva
English version of the text : Meredith Brunel
Traditional folk Chocó Colombia

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