How to Read Colombian Literature to a Coffee Plant

This interactive performance was a part of the inaugural Green Art + Social Practice Fair at Columbia College Chicago.

Participants were invited to read to a young coffee plant from a selection of Colombian novels, short stories, and poems in both Spanish and English. As readers encouraged the plantís growth and reconnected it with its origins, they also shared important cultural contributions from a country whose narrative in the U.S. usually emphasizes coffee and cocaine. Though many of the texts that were read are under-appreciated in the English-speaking world (some long out of print), I also included many selections from the incomparable Gabriel GarcÌa M·rquez, who had passed away days before the GASP! Fair.

Colombian coffee was, of course, provided.

(Photos by Emily Madigan)