The Emperadoras de la Champeta, based in Cartagena, Colombia, are the first musical group in the genre of champeta music that consists entirely of women. Using their music, they promote the participation of “champetúo” artists in a genre dominated by men. Despite the fact that women have always been present in the musical culture of champeta, participating as dancers, performers, composers, samplers, and arrangers, their presence has been largely invisible and little recognised.
Las Emperadoras promote a message of gender equity and critically explore expressions of sexism and racism on the champeta music scene.
The group is made up of 11 Colombian women of Afro and indigenous descent who come from the working-class sectors of the city.
The collaborations between Las Emperadoras de la Champeta and the CARLA project consist of two pieces for this exhibition: a) a video “Pará en la raya” and b) an interview with group leader, Mily Iriarte, about the relationship between champeta, anti-racism and gender struggles.