Aldo Esparza Ramos
Born MX, 1986
How far can you be?, Arnhem 2017, lecture-performance. Photo by Duruo Wang
T-shirt of Adán de la Cruz, How far can you be?, Arnhem 2017, lecture-performance. Photo by Duruo Wang
Currently, most of Aldo Esparza Ramos’ poetic acts are centred on the way cacao has been implicated in the connection between modernity and coloniality. Ever since Europeans set foot on the American continent, cacao has been heavily exploited and exported. As a result, the function of cacao over more than 5,000 years of history in different cultures has been neglected and erased from Western nowledge. To this day the production chain of chocolate is marked by a global pollutive mass consumption that has transformed this natural resource into a toxic industry, destroying lands, as well as human and animal lives, leaving devastated ecosystems and ruined cultures behind.
Esparza Ramos is a griot, a travellerpoet, a decolonial storyteller. His practice is directed towards social healing; he wants to intervene in daily life and build communities around decoloniality. He cycles to parks and squares with his tricycle to roast, peel, and grind cacao beans with the public – all the while sharing stories that he comes across during his research into the histories and production of chocolate, as well as his visits to self-sustaining indigenous communities in Abya Yala (not colonised America).
The indigenous concept of sentipensar, or "thinking through feeling," is central to his work. He stimulates an open form of dialogue in which listening to other forms of knowledge and other ways of being is actively pursued. As an intermediary between different epistemologies and perspectives, Esparza Ramos carefully walks the fine line between the risk of appropriating indigenous culture and his aim to reeducate himself and the public in their role as consumers.