La Chicha Dicha
This project seeks to convey the history of “chicha,” a fermented corn beverage of pre-Columbian origins, in Bogotá and is guided by two aims. The first is to translate academic works on “chicha” and its contributions to social transformation in Colombia into a pedagogical format that is accessible to a broad audience that includes children. Accordingly, the first phase of the project entails the creation of a comic book narrative (illustrated by Bogotá-based artist Alejandro Manzanares) that takes the reader through one thousand years of “the culture of chicha.” The second goal of the project is to create a website whose content is amenable to less sophisticated computer systems and can be easily transferred to a non-digital format (by making the comic book easily printable). This ‘low-tech’ strategy seeks to overcome the “digital divide” that often makes information inaccessible to large sectors of the public in many parts of the world. The title of the project, “La Chicha Dicha,” is a word play on the Spanish word “dicha” which can refer to the verb “spoken” as well as a noun that signifies prosperity and fortune. The project thus seeks to make “chicha” a salient topic of social discourse — to make it spoken — at the same time that it celebrates the trajectories of resistance and vitality associated with the beverage.