Listening Session: The Flourishing Diversity Series

Serpentine South Gallery 8 Sep 2019 Free

On the occasion of The Flourishing Diversity Summit taking place at UCL on the 9-11 September, join us for a Listening Session led by the Mamos, spiritual leaders from the Arhuaco nation of Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The session will address ecology and balance in the face of existential threats facing the world today.

Joining the Mamos will be high-profile ‘Listeners’ from the fields of art, policy-making and fashion who will receive the messages and become ambassadors of the pressing environmental causes.

This event is held in collaboration with The Flourishing Diversity Series. All ticket proceeds will go to The Great Balance, a non-profit organisation working with the Mamos on environmental and education projects.

This evening is being made possible thanks to the support of Karen Roth.

About the Flourishing Diversity series:

The Flourishing Diversity Series invites you to a unique opportunity to listen, dialogue, and participate with indigenous leaders from across the world. Wisdom traditions hold many of the answers to our most pressing problems concerning the climate crisis and environmental protection. It’s time to consider them at the global-scale. From the 7th – 11th of September, Flourishing Diversity will host a series of events across London that build collaboration and help us to see what we can all do to better live in harmony with the delicate systems of this planet, our only home.

About the Arhuaco people and the Mamos:

The Arhuaco are an indigenous people of Colombia. They are Chibchan-speaking people and descendants of the Tairona culture, concentrated in northern Colombia in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. They call themselves ‘the older brothers’, while outsiders are known as ‘the little brothers’. The Arhuaco consider the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to be the heart of the world, and believe that the well-being of the rest of the world depends on it. The older brothers believe it is their responsibility to maintain the balance of the universe. When there are hurricanes, droughts, or famines around the world it is said that they are the cause of human failure to keep the world in harmony. Balance is achieved by making offerings to the sacred sites to give back to the earth what is taken out of it. Nature and society as a unity are ruled by a single sacred law, immutable, pre-existent, primitive and survivor to everyone and everything. The material world can exist or cease to exist but this law is believed to continue without being altered.

The Mamos are the spiritual authority of the Arhuaco society. They are charged with maintaining the natural order of the world through songs, meditations and ritual offerings. From birth, the Mamos child chosen by divination is trained to being attuned to Aluna, the generative All-That-Is Spirit that generates reality; it is the source of life in which all things exist. The preparation of a child for this task lasts nine years.


Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architectural Pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas Marathons and research-led initiatives, explore our past projects and exhibitions.

View archive