Leidy Chavez is an artist based in Popayán. A graduate of the University of Cauca, Leidy has received several awards for her work, including from the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, MAC Museum of Contemporary Art (Bogota), Salón Nacional Nuevos Nombres, among others. She has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, collectively and individually, including the OpenART (Örebro, Sweden), Liquid Sensibilities (Miami, USA), Dark Mirror (Wolfsburg, Germany), Illusions (Rio de Janiero, Brazil), and many others.
Michael Ben is a photographer and plastic artist based in Cauca. A graduate of the University of Cauca, Michael is also the Director of the Contraluz Photographic Collective and the Cultural Manager and Curator of Cogiendo Ruta where he brings together artists from the South West of Colombia to intensify ideas around the territory, memory and identity. His work expressing the nuance and beauty of rural Colombia has received awards from the Espacio Interferencia Foundation (Cali), Open Camera Resident (Bogota) and the Colombian Corporation for Art and Culture (Guajira Colombia).
John Edward Myers is a political scientist, conservationist and writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Inspired by Steve Hilty`s Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia, Myers visited Colombia for the first time in 2001. He has held senior leadership positions at The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, WWF and Conservation International. His projects have been featured in the Economist, New York Times and Outside Magazine. Since 2001, John has spent more than eight years living and working in Colombia. He is a regular contributor to El Espectador. In 2021 he traveled to Cauca and co-founded Voices from the Void with Patrick McGrann.
Patrick focuses on the role of education and understanding amidst conflict. Having worked for 20 years with youth in Gaza, Nigeria, Somalia and other contested communities he has learned to listen intently to the experiences of marginalized people. More information is available here.
Lina Alonso is a writer, journalist and researcher. A graduate from the Universidad Javeriana, she’s worked for several magazines and publishing houses, including Vice, El Malpensante, Penguin Random House Colombia and La Pulla, the award-winning satirical news show from El Espectador. Her texts have been published in press and websites including Razón Pública, Arcadia, Diario Criterio, Revista Matera, El Boletín del Banco de la República, Vice’s Noisey, La Otra (Mexico), Vallejo & Co. (Peru) and El Espectador Magazine. Lina is a proud feminist from the south of Bogotá and now is our roving reporter.
Fanny Aparicio is a cinematographer who enjoys the natural characteristics of filmmaking. She feels passionately that this art form is an opportunity for expression and always seeks to grow by allowing it to flow and flourish. Always very professional, Fanny prioritizes human values, respect, and learning together with others in every challenge.
Jaap Van T Kruis
As a documentary filmmaker Jaap often focuses on untold stories, most relevantly in rural Cauca. In 2019’s Unpaved Road to Peace Jaap highlights the experiences of those who, as teenagers, decided to fight for the FARC. Now that a peace agreement has been signed in Colombia, the young people of Caldono return to their bombarded town. This film’s focus on those dedicated to achieving reconciliation between villagers and former rebels, including community leader and coffee farmer Farid Julicué, represents an important voice from Cauca.
Maria Camila Rosero
Maria Camila is an up and coming architect with a tremendous familiarity of Popayan and its inhabitants. When not spending time learning more about Cauca and its capital city she is advocating for its advancement, often with her dog Killa Mike.
Simón Mejía is the founder of the award-winning Colombian super band Bomba Estereo. In addition to playing and recording music, Simón is also an environmentalist and filmmaker. Simón and John are currently working on a feature documentary film about women environmental defenders in Colombia called DEFENSORAS.
Appreciating the importance of inclusion and economic development Carolina’s business expertise is invaluable in improving the livelihoods of stakeholders attempting to move on from conflict.
César Alfaro Mosquera Dorado
César shares a unique perspective on the role of art and other approaches in healing communities scarred by conflict.