Video documentary 2016

Photo gallery

minkaLab (26-29 Feb) 2016


We have successfully organised the third edition of MinkaLab in February 2016. We only succeeded because of all of  you who believed in us and supported our idea  from day one. From our friends and family, to universities, organizations and groups, MinkaLab exists because of all of your support. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you  and share with you what happened in MinkaLab’s 2016 edition.


This year MinkaLab  was again held in the beautiful MinkaLab farm in Santa Rosa de Cabal, part of  the department of Risaralda of west central Colombia. The farm is in the middle of nature which is our main source of inspiration at  MinkaLab. This 2016 edition took place over  3 days from February  26th to February  29th, hosting approximately 100 participants, and was preceded by  a preparation week.


The preparation week started on February 20th, with approximately 25 volunteers who worked  day and night to make sure everything was ready for the start of Minkalab 2016. We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single  volunteer for their motivation and for working behind scenes to leave the path clean and ready for all the participants. We would like to also  thank the  members of  Tricilab and Comunidad Rodante.

During the preparation week only , we were able to achieve various projects:  :

  • We built a permanent ceiling structure for the Maloka. The ceiling also allowed us to increase the covered space as it has provided a corridor surrounding the main structure of the  dome .It was an amazing work. In 2 weeks the Maloka was nice and shiny ready to received all participants to cook ideas.


  • We built a dry toilet and  a solar shower with an amazing view on the surrounding nature! This was possible thanks to the knowledge and skills brought by the  Comunidad Rodante. Although we still need to work on the dry toilet,  it was working and was  a perfect success during the Minkalab festival and many people used it.
  • We  succeeded  in assuring a  great team work while cooking, cleaning and coordinating  the logistics of the event.


We concluded the preparation week with a Cocoa cermony , where we had the time to appreciate the power of pure cocoa from the Sierra Nevada. Thanks  to Esteban who brought this medicine, and reminded us the power of the Cocoa.


Once  the preparation week was over, the festival of 2016 started . Every day  started with early sessions of  yoga and meditation followed by a vegeterian breakfast. Lunch and dinner were also vegetarian . The team of volunteers that took responsibility of preparing the food  also made sure that all the ingredients were locally sourced  . Food was at  the center of the event as it was a very important moment to digest and share all the knowledge throughout  the day. Durings the nights around the Maloka we were always delighted by the nice traditional music from Colombia thanks to Serrania group, and with the inspiring performance from Paola from Comunidad Rodante called: “Mujer Arbol” (Tree woman).


During the MinkaLab festival 2016, the workshops, discussions and performances turned arround the following nodes:

1) Alternative Education

2) Food Security

3) Ancestral and Contemporary Technologies

1) Alternative Education

We saw the possibility of learning mathematic from observing our environment and  the surrounding nature or by playing traditional games. We learned about the necessity of providing  a broader education to our childrens, by learning from the nature, from our elders and learning by doing. Thanks to Universidad Sin Fronteras, to organize this node.


“Institutional education is often participating to a standardization of people’s minds, reducing unfortunately diversity and creativity amount us. Generally people want their children to take the track dictated by economy needs with the hope of getting a decent job, instead of following their own talent and developing know-how that will allow them to be more independent.” – Candelaria Polo


During the Alternative Education node, with Tricilab we learnt how to make  a flipbook . Then the  members of the  Comunidad Rodante who learn by doing and travelling while helping others,  shared their experiences with the different communities they had  work with.  They also brought the topic of  “Gift economy” whereby the  economy is not based on buying and selling but on giving and receiving  . And on the last day of the festival we   put this economy  in practice with a workshop where each of us  told everyone about things that they needed and wanted  to have and things that they wanted to give. The outcome was amazing, as people were more keen to give than to receive.

 2) Food Security

We discussed mainly two topics: Trueque Project and Regenerative Nutrition. The Trueque project was born with the need of preserving seeds biodiversity and promote seed sovereignty and the right to use and exchange seeds freely. In Colombia 3 main factors threatens the sovereignty and diversity of seeds:

  • Patent laws that seek to make sharing and saving of seed a crime by making seed a multinational “Property” forcing all of us to pay royalties for what is our collective heritage.
  • Climate Change
  • Low diversity of our meals and food plates in current society.

That’s why together with the help of the network Semillas Libres de Colombia and the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Munich, we host seeds keepers from differents parts of Colombia to exchange knowledge on how to create  an architectural space to promote: the exchange of seeds in the community, learn more through a library about the diversity of the region and which could potentially protect and store properly the seeds.




On the Regenerative Nutrition topic, we had the pleasure to count with Esteban Yepes and Daniela Duque, who brought lots of knowledge about nutrition, for instance,we learnt how to prepare nice refreshing drinks with Kefir or to do sprouts and learnt about the natural medicine. All the MInkaLab menu was vegetarian and very diverse. We learnt the importance of bringing back food as the center of the family, and how to combine our meals to have a better digestion. The more diversity we bring into our plates, the better for our health and to protect the diversity of our seeds and prevent its extinction.

3) Ancestral and Contemporary Technologies

Last but not least, on the Ancestral and Contemporary Technologies node we learned from the Collective Plathohedro and Proyecto NN,  how to share knowledge through “Small narratives” and fanzines, and how to reduce our impact by doing essential oils and our own shampoo with natural herbs. Comunidad Rodante shared with all how to build permanente dried toilets. Esteban Yepes, explained us how to reduce energy consumption while cooking, for instance, we built all together a PachaManca: making a big hole in the ground to create a natural giant pot; heated up during an entire day by using hot stones, the result was amazing, we could all eat a lot using less energy. We did kaleidoscopes, appreciating nature with all its different shapes and colors. Also, Using recycled material we built a colombian Gaita, traditional instrument from the north of Colombia.


We ended the MinkaLab Festival by planting trees . We have also plan a 4 years reforestation program of the farm supervised by a regional entity Corporación Autónoma Regional de Risaralda CARDER. Big Thanks to Alex and Stephanie to be our biggest sponsor and also to all the donors that have contributed to the reforestation and to offset CO2.


We would like to share a nice article written by “Iban de la Montaña” one of the participants, who shares with us his impressions about MinkaLab (the article is in Spanish).


You can also visualize all the pictures taken during the festival in our Facebook fanpage. Big thanks to the documentation team: Aline, Katha, tricilab and Platohedro who documented the whole festival and preparation week. Thanks to Anne for doing the great sound performance “cuerpo expandido”. Also big thanks to all who were part of the participatory documentation workshop lead by Aline.


Thank you all one more time for all your support!
MinkaLab 2016