colombia..!

So the UNIDEE residence is on holiday and for me at least, August this year is a bit different. I am now off to Colombia for 4 weeks to work on another project.

Am going to the area of Moravia in Medellín (pop 3.3 million) where along with another artist, Maria Rosa Jijon, we are going to run video workshops for teenage girls. We are working with 20 girls split into 2 groups of 10 with 2 workshops a day Monday to Saturday (am currently desperately trying to learn final cut pro editing vocab in spanish!).

We are here by invitation from El Puente. El puente_lab “is a platform for artistic and cultural production, active in Medellín – Colombia, which aims to develop cultural projects on a local level, building bridges of communication with artists and experts through a strategy of international cooperation.”

Images taken from the El Puente website of their project Nodos de Desarrollo Cultural (Cultural Development Nodes) whose aim is to tackle the lack of cultural spaces in the marginalized densely populated neighbourhood of Moravia, and in addition, to work under the condition of a low budget, using recycled materials and strict conditions of use of public space.

It’s going to be an intense experience. I can’t wait! As ever watch the blog for progress reports!

MORE INFO ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF MORAVIA

(Taken from the elpuentelab.org website)

Moravia is a quarter of Medellín, in Colombia, that grew from the illegal settlement of communities that arrived in the city in the ‘sixties. The municipal dump, established in the same area in 1977, gave the inhabitants a chance for survival, based on recuperating any recyclable materials, which effectively turned Moravia into an emarginated quarter with its economy based on and sustained by trash. Due to social conflict in the early ‘eighties, and ‘thanks’ to the presence of the dump, Moravia reached its highest level of population: 17 thousand people in 1983. In 2004 Moravia and its catchment area reached 42 thousand inhabitants in just 44 hectares, becoming the zone with the highest population per square metre in the entire city of Medellín. This extreme population density and the indiscriminate appropriation of the land, has caused a decline in the quality of life and a lack of public space. In the same year, the Alcaldia de Medellín (municipality of Medellín) under the guidance of mayor Sergio Fajardo, began the Macroproyecto de Moravia, an integrated strategic plan to promote development through actions aimed toward recovering the urban area and improving the socio-cultural, socio-economic and environmental conditions, working on both physical and social components, such as public space, public hygiene, public housing and education.
Only recently the resurgence of Medellin, founded on culture and education, has given results even in the Moravia district, the first and perhaps most important of which was the simple inclusion of the quarter in the urban fabric. A significant sign of the quarter’s rebirth is the Centro de Desarrollo Cultural de Moravia (CDCM), a centre whose aim is to promote culture, education and the arts, and which was strongly desired by the community; a project that is truly one of a kind, and that offers a highly valid model for the entire continent.

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