Culture

The Psychedelic and Surreal Architecture of Freddy Mamani

Freddy Mamani is a Bolivian architect with a unique style of architecture that’s reminiscent of the astral plane. Embracing local culture, and tradition, this visionary creative has a rather unorthodox process for bringing his ideas to reality.

Mamani doesn’t draw formal blueprints, instead he sketches his plans on a wall or orally articulates the concepts to his colleagues. He doesn’t have an office, nor does he use a computer, yet since 2005 he and his firm have completed sixty projects in El Alto, the world’s highest city, sitting close to fourteen thousand feet, on a plateau above La Paz.

Mamani, like the majority who reside in this part of the world, is an Aymara, and the spiritual connection to his culture shines through the work he produces, and the humble presence he carries himself with.

According to EveryCulture.com:

The Aymara believe in the power of spirits that live in mountains, in the sky, or in natural forces such as lightning. The strongest and most sacred of their deities is Pachamama, the Earth Goddess. She has the power to make the soil fertile and ensure a good crop.

Catholicism was introduced during the colonial period and was adopted by the Aymara, who attend Mass, celebrate baptisms, and follow the Catholic calendar of Christian events. But the content of their many religious festivals shows evidence of their traditional beliefs. For example, the Aymara make offerings to Mother Earth, in order to assure a good harvest or cure illnesses.

Cholet: The Work of Freddy Mamani from director Isaac Niemand further explores Mamani’s life story and compendium of work, and you may watch the trailer below to learn more about this exquisite innovator.

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