Pacha: Decolonizing Our Cosmos


Colorful textile from Pacha show with birds and flowers

An exhibition curated by honors students in the fall 2023 seminar "Decolonizing Art and Religion in Spain and the Americas: Resistance, Reparations, and Repair.

November 1 through December 13, 2023

An  Opening Reception will take place on Monday November 20th 11am - 1pmAll are welcome!

The complex idea of worlds and cosmologies has evolved and changed throughout human history, and the concept of this world and other worlds holds significant meaning for every culture and civilization. The Quechua word pacha exemplifies this complex idea. Pacha roughly translates to world. In ancient Incan beliefs, there were three distinct pacha: the hanaq pacha (world above), the kay pacha (this world), and the ukhu pacha (world below). These worlds are distinct from the Christian idea of heaven and hell.

In Central and South America, "world" can represent many ideas. One is the worlds of the Incan and Mayan traditions, as well as the hundreds of other tribes and civilizations that have resided in Latin America. Another is the idea of the old world of Europe sailing to the new world of Latin America to colonize and exploit the land and the people.

In decolonizing the art, history, and religion of Latin America, we work not only to deconstruct and analyze the world presented by the colonizers of these lands, but also the worlds that were obscured, erased, and lost but are now being reclaimed. We invite you to join us on our journey of listening and learning, and continue on your own once our paths, and worlds, diverge.

Exhibition Website

The Process of Decolonization through Art and Religion in The Wheel