Tanda

The Tanda program is a cohort program that aids individuals with their research and practice through self-directed and collective learning by way of gathering and sharing resources, conversations, and knowledge.

Tanda Spring 2022 Application opens February 2022.


Tanda Fall 2021 Cohort and Topics:

09/29 – Rasquachismo and the Underdog Mentality

“I was introduced to this term by some fellow graduate students who have a similar upbringing as mine. It was like discovering a key to explain our process when making art. Through collective learning I want to investigate this term deeply in order to contextualize it in a contemporary context.”  – Hugo Ivan Juarez

10/06 – Agenciamentos Olfativos / The Agency of Scent

“I am interested in the world of olfaction for many reasons. One is that our sense of smell has been historically devalued through the machinations of European-colonial thought guided by the “hierarchy of the senses.” Our sense of smell is one of two of our chemical senses and it allows us to communicate with land, other species, and each other. It also allows us to perceive subtle chemical shifts in our environment caused by, for example, rampant pollution and industrial extractivism. I’d like to delve into the sense of smell critically, while also providing moments of embodiment through our conversations by engaging in scent exercises.”  -agustine zegers

10/13 – Pre-colonial Indigenous Urban Planning and How to Imagine Indigenous Cities of the Future

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated and inspired of Indigenous urban planning. I grew up visiting Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon, Ancestral Puebloan cities that are masterpieces of sustainable, holistic urban planning. In college I studied the urban planning of Peru and saw many parallels in how people used science and spiritual practices to design spaces to accommodate many people and a variety of social activities in ways that worked with the local environment. I’ve always been frustrated that histories of “civilization” often erase Indigenous societies and cities. I wonder how elevating and studying Indigenous cities might inform how we can reimagine a post-colonial post-capitalist world.” -River Kerstetter

10/20 – Reconceptualizing the Madonna and Child through Archival Praxis

“As an archivist I’m interested in exploring black matriarchy through photography. Particularly through found images and research. I became interested in this work in response to my family losing one of our own matriarchs. Who are some  artists that I should be aware of, that dive into archives for their art practice and methodologies? Has there been recent discourse about the Moynihan report?  Are there any zines/books/exhibition catalogues I should consider reading as it relates to my topic? What does “care” look like when one is building an archive on a particular subject? What are the names of the scholars who have conducted psychological research on the impact of being the black matriarch/backbone of the family? How does one ethically/consciously produce work from found imagery?”  – Alkebuluan Merriweather

10/27 – Convictions of the Classics: On the Presence & Erasure of Black and Brown Bodies in Classic and Mesoamerican Art

“I’m interested in this subject because I want to connect more with my heritage. Being from the US there is a disconnect and distance to the subject and source. To be a part of something larger than myself. When I’m creating works inspired by the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, I feel connected to the rich history of artists like Ruffino Tomayo, Diego Rivera, and Saturnino Herran.” -Marcelo Eli Sarmiento

11/03 – Neo Perreo: Challenging Misogyny and Homophobia in Reggaeton Culture

“The aim of this research topic is to create a vernacular around the neo perreo subculture that has emerged in the night-life scenes of cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires. Empowering queer fem artists, this genre of music empowers those who were often degraded or overlooked in traditional reggaeton culture. Spearheaded by artists such as Ms. Nina, Tomasa del Real, and Sailor Fag, this cultural safe-haven creates a music and visual culture that prioritizes marginalized groups in Latinx, and Latinx American music scene. How do these artists use visual language to empower themselves, their peers, and their listeners? How can this music be applied to visual arts, mainstream media, and a global platform? Does this sub-genre function as a form of reclamation, and if so what is it reclaiming and how is it regenerating it’s own narrative to stray away from the traditional Reggaeton culture whose roots run deep in many aspects of Latin American culture?” – Juan Arango Palacios


What is the Tanda program? What is a tanda?

The Tanda program is a cohort program that aids individuals with their research and practice through self-directed and collective learning by way of gathering and sharing resources, conversations, and knowledges.


It interweaves the formats of seminars, book clubs, research groups, and tandas. Tanda is a spanish term for an informal money lending circle that is formed amongst friends, families, and acquaintances. This short-term loan club is a cross-cultural concept that is also known as a susucundina, vaca, hui, paluwagan, and jamia, to name a few.


An example of a tanda is as follows: A tanda is formed between five people. Each person in the tanda puts $100 into a pot every week to total a $500 pot. The first member gets the $500 pot the first week. The second member gets the next $500 pot the second week, and the third member gets the next $500 pot the third week. This continues until each member in the tanda has received the $500 pot. Usually tandas are formed out of one member’s financial emergency or if a community project needs to be funded. Tandas become ways relationships strengthen, news and stories get exchanged, and community support and trust grows.


Following that concept, instead of waging money, participants in the Tanda program wage a subject. Each participant chooses to wage a topic that they are researching to put in the program’s syllabus (pot). That syllabus will consist of weekly sessions and every session will be assigned a subject taken from the pot. Each participant, except the one who waged the week’s topic, will research that week’s subject and regroup in every session to present and discuss their research and findings. The member who waged the week’s topic co-facilitates the session.



Past Tandas:
Tanda Spring 2021

Lorena Cruz Santiago: Visual Sovereignty: Understanding the Ethics of Depicting Indigenous Culture in Visual Art

Tiffany M Johnson: Marronage: Acts Between Freedom and Captivity

Karen Dana Cohen: Making Visible the Invisible: Labor of Mothering as Immigrants in the Contemporary Culture and What Acquiring a New Language Provides

Clau Rocha: Bloodletting as Embodied Ritual: Latinx Tattoos

Alex Santana: Challenging Biometrics, AI, and Facial Recognition Technologies

Charles Ryan LongThe Love, Rage & Roses it will take to Welcome the Death of White Manhood 

Tanda Fall 2020

Sarita Garcia: Fantasyscapes: Mercados, Markets and Merchandise; Looking in the self-made maze of Latinx flea markets

Natasha Mijares: Urban Wind Borne Debris & Environmental Racism

Marina M. Álvarez: Graffiti in the Urban Spheres of Mexico & Chile: Tools of Anti-colonial Resistance

Katia Pérez Fuentes: Cosmic Patterns for Creative Practitioners: Astrology and Art

Joseph Josué Mora: Egress: Politicized Existence In U.S. and Art Spaces

Eva Mayhabal Davis: Collaboration and Cooperative Protocols

Tanda Summer 2020

Javier Jasso: Dreams, Alzheimer, and Autoconstrucción

Victor Zhagui: The Bossa Nova/Tropicália Movement in Brazil and Surrealism

Jennifer Ligaya SenecalNavigating Space: Hoodoo and ATR rooted Performance Practices in the Deep South

José Rosa: Afro-Latinx Presence in Caribbean Visual Communication

Tanda Spring 2020

Frank Vega: South American celebrations and traditions in relation to Indigenism

Elsa MuñozRelational theory (action) as a response to the Anthropocene

Juan Molina HernándezHome, haven and heaven

Giselle Mira-Diaz: Generational trauma through an immigrant lens

Astro Escudero: The Plantationocene

Daye Angely: Bending perception with science and imagination