Paula Chaves Bonilla is a Colombian non-binary lesbian. She/he works as a director, choreographer, performer, teacher and activist and is based in Amsterdam. Born and raised within the boom of narco-paramilitarism and the expansion of neoliberal politics, she/he conceives art as a survival strategy and device able to hack the hegemonic power structures at play. She/he studied dance and circus in New York, Bogota and Berlin and later obtained a bachelor’s degree in Choreography at the School for New Dance Development in the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK).

Marked by her/his migratory paths, Chaves Bonilla’s artistic research is situated at the intersection of trans feminist practices, social critique, journalism, experimental dance and fiction as sites where to imagine transnational anti-capitalistic and anti-imperialist modes of existence. In The Netherlands she/he made: Paraart, Against The Wall, Down is Up and Omni Toxica while joining Amanda Piña’s long-term project Endangered Human Movements as a dancer and assistant choreographer. Her/his works have been shown in festivals such as: Moving Futures (Amsterdam), Theater Aan Zee (Oostende), Theater Spektakel (Zürich), My Wildflag (Stockholm) & Welcome to our guest house (Rotterdam). 

Coming from a legacy of political dissidence rooted in her/his family history, Chaves Bonilla works as a migrant/refugee and queer activist. Between 2012 and 2016 she/he was co-organizer of Queeristan – a D.I.Y. Festival in Amsterdam to explore and counter the normative workings of gender, sexuality and identity and is co-founder of Kuir Latinx, a platform to support trans and queer latinx migrants/refugees and feminist latinx artist.