Comadreo Pacífico–Ensayo #4



An Indigenous-led comadreo among women who carry memories, knowledge and practices of care for coastal territories on the east coast of Australia, Pacific Islands, Aotearoa, Perú and Chile. Ensayo #4 defines a comadreo as a non-hierarchical, humorous, tender and creative practice of co-mothering, allowing people to learn together in a culturally safe space that gracefully resists teleological learning and colonial logic.


Ensayos’ ongoing research happens in conversation and collaboration with many individuals, communities, and institutions. Over the years, these precarious practices have increasingly allowed us to inhabit a vulnerable space of becoming (un)done. Ensayos #4 on coastal conservation poses many location-specific questions about care, custodianship, sovereignty and ancient knowledge. With this residency at Blak Dot, Sarita Gálvez attunes Ensayos’ collective practice of comadreo, based on the notion of co-mothering, to current environmental pressures on marine ecosystems from Indigenous perspectives. We situate our practice in the South, not only geographically but also epistemologically, acknowledging the many traversal passages that have woven the Pacific Ocean and Southern skies for millennia.


At Blak Dot Gallery (Naarm / Melbourne, Australia) with heartfelt threads woven across to Quandamooka country, Karokynka, Aotearoa, Pacific Islands, Chile and Perú.


The residency will take place in June and July 2020 with a community event planned for November 2020.


Comadreando– yarning, laughing, sharing cups of tea and mate, walking along coasts, weaving, writing and singing to each other.

Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants.


Patricia Messier (Kawéskar craftswoman and educator), Sonja Carmichael (Quandamooka weaver and writer), Gina Ropiha (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Raukawa artist and educator), Veisinia Tonga (Tongan/Australian storyteller), Sarita Gálvez (Chilean/Australian educator), Pamela Arce (Peruvian artist)

Image: basket in progress by Patricia Messier

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