PerúResidence of Artists


Name of Residence: Casa Kukama
Principal artistic disciplines: Ceramics, Photography, Visual Arts, Land Art, Painting, Handcrafts
Founded in: 2009
Founders: Lorena Orillo Aguirre, Pablo Taricuarima
Number of residents per year: 8
Address (City, Country): Santo Tomás, Iquitos, Peru
Website: Casa Kukama


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The Casa Kukama is a cultural center and school dedicated to the Kukama, an indigenous culture native to the Peruvian Amazon. Created in 2009 by Lorena Orillo Aguirre and Pablo Taricuarima, Kukama descendant and actual chief of the community, the project aims to preserve this ancestral culture, its language, its arts, its handicrafts, and its way of life respectful of the environment.

The center is located in Santo Tomás, about 15 kilometers from Iquitos’ airport, in a huge stilt house on the shore of the Nanay River, an affluent of the Amazon River. It counts with a very large room used for cultural events and classes for the children of the region, a second part dedicated to handicraft workshops, and an area for accommodations with amazing views on the Amazon Forest.

The Casa Kukama proposes a unique experience for artists and creative minds wishing to learn more about the Amazon region, the Peruvian culture, as well as the indigenous communities populating this ancestral part of the earth. «Each experience is made up of activities that are related to the culture such as traditional fishing, the balsa wood carving, ceramics, and most importantly to what is orality, which is myths and legends», indicates Pablo Taricuarima, founder of the project.

The program is called Ikuarin, meaning «apprentice» in native tong, and welcomes young artists and art students for a two to four weeks stay during which artists will be hosted in private rooms with terraces, and have access to plain air studios. Artists will be invited to participate in a full panel of activities and experiences around the Kukama culture and the Amazon region. «After this process of introduction, they develop artistic projects that can be personal but can also be communal. The idea is that they can develop projects with the children of the school {…} We are always open to receive people who intend to transmit through art the value that this culture has for the community itself,» shares Lorena Orrillo, founder of the Casa Kukama.

Craftsmen, ceramists, environmentalists, activists, linguists, teachers, and artists from visual arts, plastic arts, performing arts, audiovisual arts, integral arts, or land art are welcome to apply at anytime with a project proposal linked to the working lines of Casa Kukama. «The important thing is that each artist has in mind the commitment to the natural environment, the commitment to the planet, and respect for indigenous cultures» adds Pablo Taricuarima.

Artists may also apply for a residence before and during the Festival Kukama Yrapakatun, an annual carnival that happens all along the month of February.