I was invited to Nashira by Veronica Wiman of La Vida Es Un Teatro in order to collaborate with the families who were working there. With the help from a grant from CCA Center for Art and Public Life, I was able to accept the invitation and travel to Colombia in August of 2009.

El Cancionero de Nashira is a book of original songs based on the oral histories and melodies that the people in Nashira shared with me. We wrote new lyrics based on their stories, then set these lyrics to the melodies and rhythms of traditional songs from their childhood.

This book addresses the importance of the individuals in the community, by collecting their stories and sharing them through music, a medium of communication that is essential to Colombian culture. It exhibits the community’s ecological approach to living and self-sustainable processes by printing the songbook on recycled paper that is made by the women in Nashira. This book hopes to act as an educational tool for people outside of Colombia who are interested in learning how 41 women and their families organized and built an Eco-village. It also aims to serve the future inhabitants of Nashira who are interested in seeing how far the community has come and how much the land has grown.

The songs were translated by Carolina Charry Quintero. They were recorded by Moisés Eduardo Zamora and Nelson Benté of A Golpe de Marea. On December 5, 2009, 41 copies of the book were delivered to the families in Nashira and so that they could sing along while Zamora and Benté performed the 10 songs.

The songs can be heard at: www.brindalyn.com/nashira/

-Brindalyn Webster