#Labsurlab: Art in communities

April 16th, 2011 Comments Off on #Labsurlab: Art in communities

‘Arte en comunidad’ or ‘Art in Communities’ was an important topic in the series of conferences, discussions and workshops of LabSurLab. A lot of social artistic workers were present introducing their work on living memories, digesting violence and empowerment through art and technology in poor areas of Medellín, Bogotá, Cali…, like Antena Mutante, Platohedro, La DIREKTA, Geomalla, Sur del Cielo,..

Most remarkable is the work of rapper and social worker Lucia Vargas who mounted Sur del Cielo, a self run organisation in Bogotá with 60 youngsters now present in a collective structure.

Centro Cultural Moravia

And all Labsurlabbers were impressed while visiting the Cultural Center of Moravia, one of the partners of LabSurLab, situated in a neighbourhood that is built on garbage.

I did not follow the meeting on this topic, but the conclusions will be part of the labsurlab-publication. Fortunately I did participate in one of the walks through Moravia, led by Christian, one of the local youngsters for whom the cultural center is like his second home. Moravia is built on garbage, and especially one part of the neighbourhood, called ‘el morro’, is suffering from the gasses the garbage soil is producing. The local government is trying to relocate all the families living here, destroying their houses as they go, in order to reanimate the toxic soil. Toxic or proliferic, it depends whom is talking. For Christian, our local guide, el morro is his home and the gasses produced inside the morro, serve for cooking. He does not want to be relocated. For him this means that he will have to travel for 2hs to go to school or to the cutlural centre. The price they are offering for their house is too low to buy another one, the flat they are offered is a one space flat for 3 families, that they would have to finish paying. Afterwards I learned there is a third reason people do not want to be relocated. All of them living on the morro have migrated to Medellin from rural areas in Colombia, because of the civil war. They are called the ‘desubicados’. Violence is still part of their daily life, but is managed by knowing who is who and which territory belogns to whom. Being relocated would mean having to live in an area where they don’t know any of the ‘invisible frontiers’ as they are called here.

Christian or Boy Ñeco, our local guide

'El muro de Berlín', the Berlin wall meant to exclude all access to 'el morro' in a near future

'La cancha' or the football field provided by Pablo Escobar who was treated as a santo/saint in the area

'I thought they would finish off with everything'

'I want to continue living here'

Some of these houses are still for rent

Unemployed inhabitants of El Morro are employed temporarily to destroy the houses

Species of soil

The buzzing and much loved cultural center of Moravia

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