February 2012

The “joy makers” of Cochabamba

You see them everywhere in Cochabamba; Artists trying to make a living by bringing joy into other people’s lives. Some work as buskers and jugglers in the streets, others as magicians in the cafés, some play music and others bring us delightful colours on walls and canvas.

By: Tanja Andersen
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Copenhagen - Denmark

Photo: Tanja Andersen

But who are they? Where do they come from? And is it actually an affordable job to make other people smile?

In this and the coming issues of Cocha- Banner you will get to meet some of the “joy makers” of Cochabamba. This time, we have met Leandro, who works as a juggler in the streets of Cochabamba.

On a bright and sunny balcony with a spectacular view over the city of Cochabamba and the mountains in the horizon, Ivir Korania finds her inspiration.

Ivir is 34 years old and has been painting since she was a teenager. She was born in Chapare in the Cochabamba region and lived in Chile and Spain for a few years before settling with her son in a two-storey apartment in the city; complete with a working-studio and a balcony on the first floor.

Boxes detail
Photo: Tanja Andersen

Ivir used to work as a flight attendant and a model, but nowadays she makes a living selling her paintings and sculptures and also by painting private walls in artistic ways. At the moment, she experiments with a variety of different styles. Some of them are inspired by stories for children, others by the female body in all its glory, and also others are inspired by the alternative world, since she also practices reika-healing.

Her own favorite artists are Ernesto Laga, La Plaga and Dali, but they are not directly inspirational to her work. She finds her own inspiration in the moment and in her “cochabambastic“ surroundings.

You can also see her work on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivir-Korania/170962839654336 (or search for Ivir Korania)

Bolivian Football – 1
Australian Journalist – 0?

For many South American’s, football is life, and Bolivians are no exception. Since I arrived in Cochabamba in mid-October, one of my Bolivian friends, Andres the San Jose Fan, had been saying; “you have to come and see my team play, our fans are the craziest in all of Bolivia.” With an endorsement like that, I don’t know how it took me two months to get to a game.

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