Verena Melgarejo Weinandt is a German-Bolivian/Quechua artist, curator, educator and researcher. She studied Fine Art and Art and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Universidad Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires.
Before she started as Project Manager at the REPATRIATES Project she was a researcher at the University of Arts Berlin as part of the Research Group „Knowledge in the Arts”. In addition to numerous lectures and workshops, she has taught at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the *foundationClass at Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin and in the Master’s program “Solo/Dance/Authorship” at the HZT of the Berlin University of the Arts.
In her artistic work she uses performances, textiles, photography, video and installations. In oftentimes ritualistic formats she uses her body and her (ancestral) history as tools to address colonial and patriarchal structures and search for ways of individual and collective healing for what she calls “arte-sana”. Her works have been exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Salta (Argentina), at the nGbK Berlin (Germany) and at the Biennial Sur Cúcuta (Colombia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).
Focusing on decolonial art and education from Abya Yala (Latin America) she has curated several exhibitions. At the Weltmuseum Wien her exhibition focused on a geneology of historical and contemporary art works from Abya Yala that critique the colonial legacy of museum practice. Her practice as an educator translated into an exhibition which addressed Coloniality within Childhood within the internatinal art festival Wiener Festwochen.
An important focus of her practice is building bridges to the work and legacy of the »feminist visionary spiritual activist poet-philosopher-fiction writer« Gloria E. Anzaldúa through artistic, pedagogical, activist and theoretical approaches. From 2019 to 2021 she curated a transdisciplinary program with District*School Without Center in Berlin to collectively engage with the propositions and movements that Anzaldúa’s work and life continues to nurture. This program evolved around the process of translating Anzaldúa’s “Borderlands/La Frontera. The New Mestiza” into German. The German translation of “Borderlands” translated by Chaka Collective appears alongside a volume on Gloria Anzaldúa as a method in decolonial artistic and educational practice in fall 2023 with Archive Books.