Papel Soberano

Papel Soberano

Papel Soberano

In collaboration with Juan Pablo García Sossa

Installation and discussion

Bogotá, Colombia 2018


Exhibited at


as Consumed Society or The Myth of Endless Production

SAVVY Contemporary The Laboratory of Form Ideas, Berlin, DE 2020
Valenzuela Klenner Galería Bogotá, CO, 2019
FLORA Ars+Natura Open Studios Bogotá, CO, 2018

A land sustained under the belief of infinite resources, one of the richest nations in South America, is now perceived as finite. In a span of 10 years Venezuela changed its currency and banknotes 3 times. Going from Bolívares Fuertes, to Bolívares Fuertes in thousands, then to Bolívar Soberano and since February 2019 back to Bolívares, the Venezuelan currency has been extremely unstable. Predictions indicated that the hyperinflation that started in 2016, could increase to 12,000% in 2020. One could almost say that the local money ceased to be worth money.

After migrating all over the Americas in search of opportunities and survival, Venezuela became the third largest asylum seeking population in Europe, after Syria and Afghanistan (BAMF)). To date (December 2018), four million Venezuelans have emigrated. However, why has this humanitarian crisis often been underrepresented and over-politicized?

Papel Soberano is an investigation into the role of papers in the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis that had three phases and one activation. In the first phase, we collected 1,500 bolivar bills that were traded directly in Cúcuta, one of the main border cities between the two countries. These banknotes were worth to date (December 2018) around €15 and weighed 1.5kg. In the second phase, we transformed some of these banknotes into handmade recycled paper, a material whose value could be higher than that of the banknotes themselves. The third exploration addresses the role of papers in the Venezuelan migration wave, the complexities related to irregular status and the generation of babies and children who are currently undocumented. For this last phase we produced pamphlets with official information on the rights of migrants in Colombia, instructions on how to process paperwork and emphasize the difference between irregular and illegal status.

At the end of the exhibition cycle we organized a panel conversation that sought to establish bonds of complicity and support between Esther and Fidelina, two women from Buenaventura, Colombia who experienced forced displacement as a result of incidents of violence and Carolina, Alejandra and Leonardo, displaced by the Venezuelan crisis. The discussion was a space that aimed at finding a common ground in between both complex migratory processes.


Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting
Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting

Sustaining Softness amidst Thistles and Snakes –  Rapport –  geolistening shelter –  What do Snails Think About Nuclear Power Plants? –  Atlantic, Mediterranean, Collision, Coalition –  ARDE, homage to reparation processes –  Environmental Matrix –  If You Listen to Nettles, They Won’t Sting You –  Staying with the Wonder –  Das Zentrum von Gestern –  Intersecting Mediterranean(s) –  Cuerpo Colectivo –  The Land of Thunder and Lightning  –  Becoming Anti-Monuments –  Aqualiteracies –  Reset (Quimérico) –  Babel Media Art –  Fictions / Facts –  ERROR 14-92 –  Ciudad Anfibia –  Beyond the Döner –  How high? –  1m² Parque la Independencia –  Unitedstater –  A Picture with a Latina –  Metaprotesting –  Public Complaint Office –  Wiping Out My National Identity