Eli Farinango

Wilkay (Altar)

Wilkay depicts my journey of discovery, an effort to heal my connection to community while embracing a life lived between two worlds. My family’s migration to Canada when I was nine years old marked my life and how I relate to my own community. I grew up feeling perpetually foreign, feeling displaced from both here and there: I was too western for the Kichwas in Ecuador and too Kichwa for the western world. This feeling of nostalgia for a place of belonging has marked who I am as a woman and the stories that live in my body. Wilkay, which means “altar” in the Kichwa language, is the remembering of ancestral knowledge and the embracing of community wisdom that withstands the process of migration.

Wilkay is my process of reclaiming my own story and the first chapter of Runa Kawsay, a multimedia project that shares the stories of the ever-changing expressions of indigeneity while living in different territories across Turtle Island (“North America”).

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