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OMNI TOXICA | Paula Chaves Bonilla

OMNI TOXICA is a journalistic and forensic performative ritual on the history of Coca and how it passed from being a green, sacred, medicinal plant into a whitewashed, capitalist, toxic product: cocaine. The project borrows strategies from journalism, spiritism, narco culture, alchemy and activism to construct a dystopian laboratory. Here the politics of death behind what we call the Coca-Cocaine-Cola complex are revealed as the continuation of a neo-colonial order in place. In OMNI TOXICA the coca plant machiavellizes its own court case while shedding light on the incoherent gap between justice and legality, between wellness and toxicity that overshadows this whole multibillion-dollar industry.

About Paula Chaves Bonilla

Paula Chaves Bonilla (she/they) is a Colombian artist and activist based in Amsterdam. She has a background in contemporary dance, choreography, theatre and circus and now works as a dance and theatre maker across these disciplines. Her artistic research explores embodiments of denouncement, resistance and disobedience within contexts of censorship and surveillance.

Since 2015, Paula has been creating a series of works on the proximity between contemporary art production & neoliberal capitalism, which resulted in: Paraart (2015), Against the Wall (2017) and Omni Toxica (2019).

Paula Chaves Bonilla is currently a House Artist at Veem House for Performance, artist in residency at the Creative Crossroads program within the Life Long Burning dance network, member of the ‘Climate Justice Code for artists and art institutions’ (a project initiated by Casco) and co-founder of Papaya Kuir (an Intersectional feminist collective for & by Trans & Queer Lesbian Latinx Asylum seekers/Migrant artists in The Netherlands).

Tour dates

Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam
Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam
Veem House for Performance, Amsterdam (premiere)
Veem House for Performance, Amsterdam
Veem House for Performance, Amsterdam
WORM, Rotterdam (postponed due to COVID-19)
Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich (postponed due to Covid-19)
Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich (postponed due to Covid-19)
My Wild Flag Festival, Stockholm
My Wild Flag Festival, Stockholm
Het HEM, Amsterdam
Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich
Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich
Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zürich


Concept & artistic direction
Paula Chaves Bonilla
Thais Di Marco & Paula Chaves Bonilla
Nadia Bekkers, Thais Di Marco, Paula Chaves Bonilla,
Visual artist/scenographer
Natalia Sorzano
Sound artist
Nadia Bekkers
Dramaturgy/artistic advice
Rodrigo Batista
Natalia Chaves, Paula Chaves Bonilla
Light design & technical support
Dana Claasen
Produced by
Veem House for Performance & Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam
Supported by
Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst

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Art as an Explosive Device: An Interview with Paula Chaves

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