It is true that the specific Andean communities where even the llikllas are woven, are not exactly the embodiment of the principles they contain, but this is precisely why the llikllas express a utopia, a non-place beyond time and space, a permanent reference. However, the type of social organization of these indigenous communities, called Ayllu, characterizes the fabric of interdependence and conviviality of lliklla, manifested by the collective form of reciprocity and solidarity among families that make up the community. In fact ayllu refers to a community where its members relate to each other with solidarity and reciprocity. It involves not only relations among human beings, but also with nature and the universe as a whole. That community reciprocity, specifically called ayni, is also expressed in an economic principle based on the provision of services that one receives from the other when needed and that one will return when the other needs help. The essence of community reciprocity, is not the exchange, but the given sphere of solidarity, because that reciprocity is not subject to measurement. Indeed, the suma kamaña (the utopia of “living well”) is revealed in the ayni: “All the families,” says a member of a ayllu, – “live together, sharing territory and land, animals and crops, tools and products. We do not live alone, we are part of the ayllu, as the leaf is part of the plant. Nobody says: I will take care of myself; I do not care about my ayllu! This is as absurd as if the leaf would tell the plant: I do not care about you, I take care of myself!”.

Ayni is present in each one of the moments of social interaction; at work, during a loan, trade, attitudes, etc. But also the actions of man with nature, with reality, with the land he tills, rain, sun and animals. Metaphorically, ayni is the loom where moral ethical values and conviviality are woven between humans, animals and plants, where the human is one eco biotic community of nature. The ayni practice is the ability of a fabric with various steps in different spaces and contexts of the Andean territory, intended to build a convivial, cosmogonic community-being, capable of incorporating the other, even if this one lives within an opposite system. In this sense all lliklla is a constant reminder of these principles, even if its forms and materials tend to try to reach an agreement with the contemporary present.

Ramiro Garavito, June 2015.

Artist and Curator Ramiro Garavito has been invited by KIOSKO to carry out research in the Minga Utopia…