Politics and Poetics of the Rainforest

Chonon Bensho
Chonon Bensho is a multimedia artist and poet from the Shipibo-Konibo people of the Peruvian Amazon. She was born in 1992 in the Santa Clara Indigenous community. As a child, her mother and grandmother healed her with medicinal plants believed to teach the secrets of the Shipibo drawings. Her work with painting, installations and text is based upon the complex, conceptual background of her ancestral tradition, while also operating with contemporary materials and forms, from videos to found objects. A descendent from a long line of women artists and visionary healers, Chonon learned art, ethnobotany and cosmological knowledge before she went to art school, from which she graduated in 2018 with a thesis on the Shipibo system of drawing known as Kené.

Chonon’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She won the 2022 Painting Prize from the Peruvian National Reserve Bank. She was the first Indigenous woman to be awarded this prize, considered to be the most important recognition in the country in this field. Among her recent exhibitions are: “Metsá Nete: The Beautiful, Visionary World of Chonon Bensho” at the Alliance Française in Lima, Peru, curated by Christian Bendayán, and “A River, a Snake, a Map in the Sky”, in Basel, Switzerland, commissioned by Kateryna Botanova as part of the Culture Scapes art festival.



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