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CHANGING PLACES / ESPACIOS REVELADOS in Bucaramanga, Colombia

Between art, cultural heritage, and community

Seven interventions in the Plaza San Mateo building depicted the city as a blueprint for society and as a vehicle for remembering history.
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In Parque Bolívar, Edinson Arenas’s installation literally weaved the life experiences of Venezuelan migrants together in a textile installation.
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The former Club de Profesionales was the backdrop for Aristeo Mora’s reflection on failed urban visions.
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Daniel Lie used plants found in an abandoned building to express resistance to colonialism.
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Architects addressed issues of connectivity and turned an old bus into a meeting place.
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Grecia Quintero placed 100 stools on Plaza Galán to encourage communication between demographic groups from the city and the countryside.
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Alexandra Gelis showed life stories of Venezuelan refugee women in a video installation and performance.
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A hike along a city water reservoir allowed Oscar Leone to lead a discussion on the relationship between culture and nature.
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In 2018, CHANGING PLACES / ESPACIOS REVELADOS was held in Colombia. The project centered on Bucaramanga, a city in northeastern Colombia with a metropolitan region of more than a million residents. From 23 November to 2 December, fourteen locations conveyed new perspectives on the city, its cultural heritage, and living together.

Bucaramanga – conflicts from migration and climate change

The university city of Bucaramanga, also known as “La ciudad bonita” (the beautiful city), is near Colombia’s border with Venezuela and right in the path of the current wave of migration. Its rapid growth lead to a social divide between the northern and central parts of the city. Surrounded by high moorland areas that are threatened by mining operations, questions of the city’s natural heritage also play an important role.

Art reveals rifts in city and creates space for action

In the project’s initial phase between April and September 2018, artists from Colombia, Latin America, and other parts of the world worked together in eleven labs with different demographic groups from the center and northern parts of the city. The results were presented in a concluding exhibition at the Centro Cultural del Oriente. The next step saw the artists come up with projects that were specific to places in the central and northern districts. In abandoned buildings, historic structures, and public spaces, the artists addressed cultural and natural resources, but also the larger issue of coexistence in a country where peace hangs in the balance and wide social and economic rifts divide society.

Interactive city archive

Over the course of the project, an interactive and artistic imaginative archive was created and displayed at the Casa Luis Perú de la Croix.

Instituto Municipal de Cultura y Turismo Bucaramanga, ecoemprender, Escuela Municipal de Artes Bucaramanga, Fundación Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de Artistas and more partners.

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