A message, a film, a journey around the sun with Pachamama, a space-time towards eras of complementarities Fly with Pacha, into the Aerocene portrays the long-standing relationship between many ever-growing communities across multiple continents, documenting the ongoing collaboration between Aerocene and the Indigenous Communities of Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc, in Jujuy, Northern Argentina. Communities who are fighting to protect their land against the rapid, corporate extraction of lithium from their Salt Flats, driven by the Global North’s demand for batteries, which is depleting water resources in the region and contaminating its lands.


In Jujuy in January 2020, the aerosolar sculpture Aerocene Pacha rose using only the air and the sun, completely free from fossil fuels, batteries, lithium, helium, and hydrogen, becoming the most sustainable flight in human history. This journey set 32 world records, flying with the shared message: “Water and Life are Worth More than Lithium“.


Three years later, in January 2023, the old and new allies gathered once again for what was named The Alfarcito Gathering, a coming together to mobilize around strategies against the rising pressure of national and international geopolitical and commercial interests to extract lithium from the basin. Faced with the worsening of the climate crisis and the urgency of the energy transition, the communities’ message is clear: „We no longer want to be a sacrifice zone. The Global North’s “green” transition cannot reproduce the same extractivist, neocolonial politics that have been imposed on the Peoples of the South, amplifying social, ethnic and environmental inequalities“.


During this encounter, the Indigenous communities declared their ancestral lands as a Subject of Rights. The Rights of Nature movement is striving for rivers, lakes, and mountains to bear legal rights in the same, or at least a similar, manner as human beings. We must listen to the voices of the territories, in defense of water, salt flats and the commons, for an ecosocial energy transition!

Film still from Fly with Pacha, into the Aerocene, 2017-ongoing, directed by Maximiliano Laina & Tomás Saraceno.
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2023.

© The Aerocene Foundation. Courtesy Aerocene and the Indigenous Communities of Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc.

After the screening, artist Tomás Saraceno, sociologist Maristella Svampa and Nina Schlosser will be in a conversation about the struggles for environmental justice, land rights and a ‘just energy transition’ moderated by Yasmil Raymond. Participants will also be invited to draw upon the ocean of air and contribute to a growing repository of cloud-based knowledges at cloudcities.org, activated by an interactive tool for pareidolic ecologies. This inter-generational artwork is made with and for the communities of Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc, and is being developed as a new eco-social, economic model, towards a cosmovision beyond private property.


Join the movement for eco-social justice at www.aerocene.org.


Yasmil Raymond was appointed rector of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste–Städelschule, and Director of Portikus in April 2020. Previously she was associate curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015-2019), curator at Dia Art Foundation, New York (2009-2015) and associate curator at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2004-2009). She has organized exhibitions and projects with artists Allora & Calzadilla, Thomas Hirschhorn, Koo Jeong A, Jean-Luc Moulène, Tomás Saraceno, Tino Sehgal, Kara Walker, Franz Erhard Walther, Robert Whitman and Ian Wilson. Past group exhibitions include Abstract Resistance (2010), Statements: Beuys, Flavin, Judd (2008), and Brave New Worlds (2007, co-curated with Doryun Chong). Most recently, Ms. Raymond co-curated with Ann Temkin, Tamar Margalit, and Erica Cooke, the retrospective Judd at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Rirkrit Tiravanija: A Lot of People with Ruba Katrib at MoMA PS1, which tours to LUMA Foundation, Arles in May.


Tomás Saraceno is an Argentina-born, Berlin-based artist whose projects dialogue with forms of life and life-forming, rethinking dominant threads of knowledge in the Capitalocene era and recognising how diverse modes of being engage a multiplicity of meanings. For more than two decades, Saraceno has activated open-source, collective and interdisciplinary projects aimed towards rethinking the co-creation of the atmosphere, including Museo Aero Solar (2007–), the Aerocene Foundation (2015–), and Arachnophilia, towards a society free from carbon emissions, for eco-social justice.


Nina Schlosser is a political economist and researches lithium extractivism in Chile at the HWR Berlin and the University of Vienna. Nina is a member of the graduate school "Crisis and Social-Ecological Transformation" at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Berlin and an activist.


Maristella Svampa is an argentine researcher, sociologist, activist and writer. She studied Philosophy at the National University of Córdoba, specialized in History and Philosophy in France, and obtained her PhD in Sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She is currently a Senior Researcher at Conicet, based at the Centre for Documentation and Research on Left-wing Culture (CeDinCi), at UNSAM. She received several awards and recognitions, such as the Guggenheim Fellowship (2007), the Platinum Konex Award in Sociology (2016) and the National Sociological Essay Award for her book “Debates latinoamericanos. Indianism, Development, Dependence and Populism” (2018). In 2022 she was awarded the Simon Bolivar Chair of the University of Cambridge and, in 2023 the Forster Prize of the Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

Her research addresses the socio-ecological crisis, neo-extractivism in Latin America, as well as issues related to critical thinking and Latin American social theory. She has published some twenty books, including essays, research and novels. Her latest books are El colapso ecológico ya llegó. Una brújula para salir del (mal)desarrollo (with Enrique Viale, 2020) and La Transición energética en Argentina (co-editor). She is a promoter of the Ecosocial and Intercultural Pact of the South.