The Manusdea Rural project started in 2008 under the leadership of Brenda Polo and Fernando Polo as an investigation on performing arts’ anthropology, first in India and then in Colombia.
Nowadays, Manusdea is a foundation organizing field-research projects with independent investigators, art laboratories, workshops, editors, exhibitors, and documentarists in the fields of dance, photography, poetry, visual arts, music, video, culinary practices, cultural heritage, social sciences, and permaculture. Its missions are the diffusion and preservation of the Colombian cultural legacy, the investigation and promotion of ethnic diversities and traditions, and the transmission of knowledge in a non-formal way.
Since 2015, the foundation possesses the Refugio de Alta Gracia on the heights of the national park Chingaza, a space dedicated to the realization of trans-disciplinary and multidisciplinary international and national residencies. The national residencies are organized in partnership with the Colombian Ministry of Culture. The inspiring location incites its participants to confront themselves with the paradox between mind and body as a space of critical thinking and of construction of the future.
Artists can apply to a one to three months residency for either a self-directed program, an investigation program, or a production program. The residency is also opened to people writing a thesis or for collaborative projects between different cultural entities that have a social mindset.
Artists will be sharing rooms and studios and will receive all the help necessary for the accomplishment of their projects. Artists can give workshops, classes, performances, or readings, and the residency generally ends with an open-studio for the local communities.