Festival Community
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The meeting in Berlin

Once upon a time a girl, an object, an idea and a word, that has different meaning in different languages met. In place, described by Jean Paul as “the part of the world rather than a city” they had a meeting. They all brought along the will to create better opportunities for the individuals in the society, enthusiasm about visual communications as opinion sharing tool and vision that social change can be achieved with quality cooperation and active participation. Through creative workshop, presentations and open discussions Loesje International, Pink Sweater Productions, Memefest and Pina formed a concrete work plan that will be realized in next ten months and presented world widely...
Take part in our story writing.

Community as a canvas

Sharp said that the participation has become an expectation in city regeneration and public art a way to achieve it. In year 1985 Artmakers in collaboration with Charas Inc. sent out a call to artists to create a multi-mural park on the walls surrounding a derelict community garden. La Lucha addressed five issues: local gentrification, frayed police/community relations, women’s rights, U.S. intervention in Central America, apartheid in South Africa and, by extension, racism in the United States.

I was thinking about an idea that each citizen would get 2x2 m white wall when he is born to write thoughts about the community he is living in. Would the wall change a lot through years? What kind of feelings would be portrayed? Today we have on-line portals where opinions can be expressed and compared. But still, can you imagine taking a hike to a nearest hill and watching from the distance the opinion of community. Would we care more?

*more information about La lucha mural park on http://artmakersnyc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=55

Art as a tool for civil initiatives

11th September 1973 was the day Augusto Pinochet lead dramatic overthrow of the democratically elected Marxist government. More than ten thousand so called demolish citizens were gathered on the national stadium in Santiago, where many of them were publicly killed. In that time, Chile saw women as politically passive and eliminated. Dictatorship prevented women political participation outside the households, but the economic politic and political structure had an opposite effect: extreme poverty forced women to search for work and become a part of social communities with purpose of survival. That is the reason thousands of women started to participate in grassroots social movements. In that time the Catholic Church played an important role in the rebellion movement with so called Vicaria de la Solidaridad, which helped the victims of the regime. Collaborators of the movement agreed that they can help victims also with political education. One of the ways to do that was the restoration of artistic workshops for women of pueblo jovenes. On workshops women made two or three dimensional images out of textile called arpilleras.

Finished arpilleras represented the brutality of the dictatorship and living conditions. Typical arpillera showed torture on the Santiago football stadium or sea of graves marked with abbreviation N.N. (No name). Others showed disappearing symbolically: son was taken away from his mother by four black vultures (representing the leaders of the army) or a woman was dancing alone (symbolising the national dance La Cueca) without knowing the destiny of her husband. Some arpilleras represented hard everyday life – food shortage, closed factories, dictatorship. Arpilleras example represents the use of art as an alternative channel for expressing of opinion and oppositional political practice. Through them evil opponent, ethos of the movement and conditions in Chile have been shown, activation of otherwise inactive crowd was possible and strives of the movement presented. In case of arpilleras, art first had influence on micro community of the hurt women, to whom arpilleras enabled an exit out of economical straits and expression of their own opinion. Through education on workshops and spreading of information as the base for discussion about problems arpilleras had an effect on the national community and through ethos of solidarity on the international community, which supported the movement by buying arpilleras and performing the media pressure. Art has connected different layers of community, even if its first purpose was confrontational, oppositional political practice.

Art may not be grounded with purpose of integration, creation of so called public domain, strengthening and development of the society, but it has the power to do all that. Art can become a tool for achieving our purpose that indirectly creates arenas, within which opinions are expressed, developed and strengthen. In like manner, art can become a tool of distortion, manipulation, propaganda, that divides community and causes conflict. Individuals and social groups, their power and interests are the ones setting the borders. Art is just a tool, waiting to be used. Let's use it wisely.





Kaja Cunk





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