We Walk The Earth | Reads | Episode 26 - Ivan Sawyer García Guest Spotlight

A spotlight on Ivan Sawyer García

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Guest Spotlight

A spotlight on Ivan Sawyer García

03 May, 2023
We Walk The Earth | Reads | Episode 26 - Ivan Sawyer García Guest Spotlight
It was a pleasure to welcome cultural entrepreneur, indigenous rights activist, and media producer, Ivan Sawyer García to the We Walk The Earth podcast recently. Ivan has dedicated over a decade of his life to cultural exchange, sustainability, and preservation of indigenous knowledge across North and South America.
Ivan spent most of his childhood in the state of Morelos in Mexico, just an hour outside Mexico City. Having a strong interest and connection with agriculture and farming, as well as alternative education with Ivan’s mother also being an artist, his parents moved there to find a lifestyle that would bring them closer to the earth.

Ivan had a very close relationship with his maternal grandmother (who lived to the incredible age of 100), and shared a great interest in the history of Mexico and Latin America which led to some beautiful conversations that would last for hours, and has fuelled his passion to discover more about his heritage. He describes his grandmother as having been a spiritual seeker who was into metaphysics — an interest that was passed on to a teenage Ivan. On his fathers side, his great-uncles and aunties were explorers in South America, which both Ivan and his father both connect with having spent a lot of time across South America, especially in the Amazon.

Protecting and defending the indigenous way of life was ingrained in Ivan’s upbringing, and has arguably set the foundations for his life. Through his family connections alongside his own experiences participating in different movements and activism work, Ivan founded Voices of Amerikua eight years ago — an online platform that shares the story of indigenous people in defence of their culture, land and territory, using social media campaigns, documentaries, photography, and different digital media.

Ivan touches on the topic of how as a society, we are often “anti” things, yet instead he believes we should shift the narrative and be following a more “pro” way of life. “Why can’t we be pro-preservation of clean water, a clean planet?” he asks. It’s through the Voices of Amerikua platform that Ivan has been able to work in collaboration with different movements and events that share the pro-stories that aim to protect and support our planet and life on Earth.

Ivan also has a passion and an eye for photography, having studied photography and visual arts. His main focus has been portraiture-documentary style photography which has led him to create some stunning work while on his travels. Speaking about his features in magazines and exhibitions, Ivan explains that while he has always worked with photography, he wishes to focus on the art form even more over the coming years. He hopes to help bridge the gap between the north and south Americas, beginning with the publication of a book containing a collection of topics he is inspired by, sharing a glimpse into different indigenous cultures in the Americas with the hope that it inspires others to connect cultures and movements.

Describing himself as a restless person, always seeking ways to create space for change across communities and spaces, Ivan has participated in the creation of various initiatives, cultural, artistic, festivals, and events, many of which have been related to the environment. He loves to bring different groups together, and uses art as a medium to showcase talent and express care for our planet, people, and diversity.

He has also collaborated with and helped to create one of Europe's largest festivals, Boom Festival — a bi-annual event held in Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal, coinciding with the full moon. Described as a transformational, multidisciplinary, psychedelic and sustainable, electronic music festival, Ivan sees events such as these as an opportunity to bring together speakers and leaders from different fields to create change and share it with others.

You can find more on Ivan’s photography journey and festival ties alongside his work with Voices of Amerikua in episode 26 of We Walk The Earth: "“Cultural Exchange and Preservation in the Americas with Ivan Sawyer García." Available wherever you get your podcasts.

Find out more:
Personal blog, photography, and projects www.ancient-futures.com
Voices of Amerikua www.voicesofamerikua.net

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