An immersive sounsdcape inspired on the Mixtec region - Open Studio

17th June 2022

‘Saa Ñu’ú’ (Clay Birds) is the artwork conceived by Martínez Valderrama and it combines sounds from the landscape, ancestral instruments and images of the Mesoamerican territory to create a ‘soundscape’ composition of the region through his experimental art practice.

Jorge Martínez Valderrama is a sound artist and inaugural digital resident of the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum. This residency explored how artists connect with museum collections via images and videos to produce art within their own cultural landscape, in this case, Mexico.

Martínez Valderrama has been inspired both by Mesoamerican musical instruments and the Tonindeye Codex, a Mixtec pictorial manuscripts in the British Museum’s collection. His electroacoustic soundscape is defined by the unexpected harmonies between sounds from nature and those produced by contemporary Mixtec instruments that replicate those in the collections. In addition, Martínez Valderrama draws on metaphorical tropes used in these texts that are characteristic of certain languages from Mesoamerica.

My artistic proposal stems from the juxtaposition of different elements and materials to discover aesthetic intersections, through moments of ambiguity and mystery. I believe that art can be revealing and meaningful, but also introspective and reflective. In the audience I hope to elicit contemplative listening, attention to the elements, to space and memory, to the resonances of those aural environments that resist and exceed time.’

In June of 2021, Jorge Martínez Valderrama presented in an online open studio with collaborators Nadia Ñuu Savi and Luis Fernando García Acevedo and museum curators María Mercedes Martínez Milantchi & Laura Osorio Sunnucks. You can watch it here in Spanish with English subtitles.



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Publications related to women’s and maternal health with Wixárika communities by the author of this exhibition


Gamlin, Jennie B. (2013)
Shame as a barrier to health seeking among indigenous Huichol migrant labourers: An interpretive approach of the “violence continuum” and “authoritative knowledge”
Social Science and Medicine 97 75-81

Gamlin, Jennie B. (2023)
Wixárika Practices of Medical Syncretism: An Ontological Proposal for Health in the Anthropocene
Medical Anthropology Theory 10 (2) 1-26

Gamlin, Jennie B. (2020)
“You see, we women, we can’t talk, we can’t have an opinion…”. The coloniality of gender and childbirth practices in Indigenous Wixárika families
Social Science and Medicine 252, 112912

Jennie Gamlin and David Osrin (2020)
Preventable infant deaths, lone births and lack of registration in Mexican indigenous communities: health care services and the afterlife of colonialism
Ethnicity and Health 25 (7)

Jennie Gamlin and Seth Holmes (2018)
Preventable perinatal deaths in indigenous Wixárika communities: an ethnographic study of pregnancy, childbirth and structural violence BMC
Pregnancy and Childbirth 18 (Article number 243) 2018

Gamlin, Jennie B. and Sarah J Hawkes (2015)
Pregnancy and birth in an Indigenous Huichol community: from structural violence to structural policy responses
Culture, health and sexuality 17 (1)