Juan Manuel Echavarría

Guerra y Pa

Guerra y Pa


8:40 min


I asked Bonifacio Pacheco, from the town of Barú on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, to train two parrots. “Guerra” and “paz” (“war” and “peace”) were the words Bonifacio was to teach the parrots. Eight months later, Bonifacio called me: “Juancho, the parrots are talking.” When I arrived in Barú, I heard them saying: “Guerra…pa.” In the diction of the Caribbean coast the “z” sound is omitted from the end of words. I forgot this when I gave the parrots to Bonifacio. This phonetic accident turned out a win. In Colombia, paz (peace) continues to be an incomplete word—a mutilated word.


Installation view

Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia, 2017