“Celebrating the diversity and hybrid identity of Cauca, our greatest strength.”
CELEBRATING CAUCA AND THE POWER OF HYBRID IDENTITY
NOVEMBER 2021 | 200 PORTRAITS
Throughout its modern history the multi-ethnic diversity of Colombia has routinely been used as a justification to divide its people. This is especially true in the Department of Cauca, a rural epicenter of conflict where ethnicity is habitually employed to isolate Afro, Indigenous, and Spanish communities from wider shared identities and interests. Such was the case during five decades of civil war and endures following the troubled 2016 Colombian Peace Accords. But those of us on the frontlines of ongoing violence in Cauca choose to reframe our diversity as our greatest strength. We choose to celebrate the ongoing fusion of our multi-ethnic communities as a unifying force for understanding, growth, and collective power.
We are all a mixture of Afro, Indigenous, and Spanish ethnicities sharing a community and its practices and are not limited to being “only from here or there.” Today, we are all Cauca, and we wish to share this cultural fusion with the world. Because our resilience and strength flow not from isolation, but from our embrace and respect of all cultures, heritage, memories, and traditions found throughout our multicultural community. Cauca is now proudly a land of hybrid identity. Today, we celebrate and share this transformation and identity as our greatest strength.