iD Barri is a platform for experimentation with site-specific projects, through which creative processes connect with specific social and cultural local activities in certain sites which form part of specific contemporary urban settings. The ID Barri programme attempts to stimulate collective creation, interaction and a connection between initially disparate elements; to produce artistic and educational activities which will, it is hoped, have an effect upon the development and transformation of the area in which these activities take place. This is achieved by analysing the space in order to understand its dynamics, visualising in order to interpret the various operating conjunctions, sketching out projects in order to encourage new productive dynamics, and collaborating locally in order to enhance and multiply creative capacities.
In this edition of ID Barri questions have been raised such as, how might we understand the idea of isolation in the context of a district? Does the definition of district posit some idea of border? What connections exist, which do not, and which are likely to exist? What are the boundaries, visible and invisible, which facilitate disconnection? Can we define explicit elements which refer to connection and isolation?
iD BARRI EIX BESÒS: The work takes place in the area comprising three districts bordering the municipality of Barcelona, bordering the river Besòs: Bon Pastor, Trinitat Vella and Baró de Viver. The project will also include educational activities in districts of two municipalities within the metropolitan area: these municipalities are Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Badalona. Two districts of these municipalities close to the river will be chosen, allowing the theme of isolation-connection to be dealt with in their own context. The districts bordering the river Besos share certain characteristics which define them as vulnerable neighbourhoods. Being in the suburbs, they present situations of urban isolation, often caused by communications infrastructures crossing them, combined with shortages of public facilities and services. In addition, they are notable as districts with serious social risk factors, such as the lowest rates of available family incomes, high unemployment rates and high rates of long-term unemployment, the highest number of foreclosures, informal employment, overcrowded housing and serious slum conditions. Moreover, these neighbourhoods have traditionally been built up as a result of social and collective struggle, and represent important sources of production of the city's popular culture. Many people gather around facilities, community centres and various organisations, creating a major community revitalisation through festivals and other cultural events.
The main objective is to create a platform combining research, production, knowledge exchange and the dissemination of research generated by cross-disciplinary activity among experts, artists and people involved in local projects, with a view to transforming the platform into an urban observatory, working on making connections between, and raising the visibility of, the neighbourhoods in which the project is set. It is founded upon a dynamic based on artistic practices, activating processes focused on collective benefits which will make a positive impact upon the neighbourhoods in which the project has been developed, subsequently to give these neighbourhoods a wider projection
COMMON THEMES AND UNIQUE THEMES: ISOLATION – LACK OF COMMUNICATION - SEGREGATION / CONNECTION - MEDIA - COOPERATION.
The proposed activities for ID Barri Besòs are based on a common theme which runs through all these neighbourhoods: the isolation that each experiences in relation to the others, and the scarce connection they have with adjacent neighbourhoods, or with areas like the river, which are very near, but far away in terms of accessibility; the visible and invisible boundaries which generate the disconnection of these areas, but also their isolation as a result of the conditions of social and cultural vulnerability in many of their inhabitants. The geography of the landscape is not neutral. It is largely is caused by territorial, functional and social segregation with respect to other territories (because of infrastructure such as Nus de la Trinitat, Renfe railways, or the Ronda Litoral, because of industrial estates, or natural causes such as the river Besòs). These contribute to condition, delimit, isolate and hide both the activities in these neighbourhoods, and the social relationships within them. As Javier Pérez Andújar wrote at the beginning of his book, Paseos con mi madre, "Our Barcelona could never reach all the way to Barcelona. And, conversely, to arrive at our Barcelona, you would have to go much further than the limits of the underground."
iD Barri Eix Besòs combines research, knowledge exchange, self-education, creativity, shared production, and the socialisation of processes and results, and works by activating a number of work-groups by means of workshops, residencies and educational activities.
Project implementation is based upon this structure:
- Local Observatory: a work-group will draw up a map of the three districts based upon the common theme of isolation and connection, in order to find common links between the three territories. There will be sessions with each working group to put on the table those issues to work upon, and how to translate these ideas more visually by means of a common cartography. The Observatory will establish which work-groups are interested in participating in the project.
- Artistic Residency and projects of production: two artists will be invited to carry out production projects in collaboration with local groups already formed. There will be a workshop with each group contacted, led by the invited artist.
- Seminar - Workshop: a meeting at which to share active projects in participating neighbourhoods, to invite experts on topics of interest, and to show results and monitor the activities which form part of the project. This two-day seminar will be open to the general public, but will be specifically aimed at students and other groups interested in land and landscape issues, and how these are connected to social context. The seminar will include activities directly related to the project's contexts, with guided tours with the participation of local organisations, and will highlight the workshops conducted by the various work-groups and the invited artist, in this way forming a common space in which to share their maps and any considerations which might arise.
- Educational activities: based upon the materials studied in each context, as part of a Connection Device, an object of activation and information which will tour around to different groups, organisations or schools. The educational activities will tackle the same theme of isolation/connection, using the work-groups' cartography with the invited artists in a way which, based upon the active involvement of students, will encourage debate and dialogue, connecting public space with educational space, working with these ideas of how students relate to their immediate surroundings.
BARÓ DE VIVER
Context of work:
- Baró de Viver Civic Centre
- Mapping workshop with artist Irena Visa, in collaboration with the families' group "Seny i Rauxa".
- Baró de Viver youth promotion service.
- Educational activities in collaboration with the primary school pupils of the Baró de Viver Public School.
The workshop by Irena Visa started out with real space and the district limits in order to achieve the imaginary terrain, playing with these limits (both physical and those imagined) in order to posit other possibilities and potentialities of the district, using a variety of artistic elementsBARÓ DE VIVER The workshop by Irena Visa started out with real space and the district limits in order to achieve the imaginary terrain, playing with these limits (both physical and those imagined) in order to posit other possibilities and potentialities of the district, using a variety of artistic elements
Context of work:
- Bon Pastor Library
- Association of Young Gypsy Students of the Bon Pastor "Rromane Siklyovne". Mapping workshop with artist Fito Conesa, in collaboration with the group "Avanzamos con la música" of Bon Pastor.
- Educational activities in collaboration with the Colegio Concertado Buen Pastor, and the Bernat de Boil Public School.
The district of Bon Pastor is in a process of extreme change. The gradual demolition of the "cases baixes" (also called cheap houses), in which many of its residents lived, has changed the landscape significantly, as well as their relationships to public space and to the immediate environment. With this in mind, the artist Fito Conesa presents a workshop of sensitive cartography to the group "Rromane Siklyovne" of the Association of Young Gypsy Students of the Bon Pastor, formed by children between 7 and 13 Years. The route will be chosen by the participants themselves, and during the tour, we will highlight their proposed landmarks. The results of the workshop will be reflected in a collective book-fanzine.
Context of work:
- Trinitat Vella Civic Centre
- A women's group from the Trinitat Vella Transcultural Service, comprising women from Pakistan and North Africa.
- The Trinitat Vella Service for Community Awareness in Public Space. Mapping workshop with artist Fito Conesa, in collaboration with a group of Muslim teenagers at risk of social exclusion.
- Trinitat Vella Youth promotion service, Red Joven (Youth Network)
- Educational actions in collaboration with the Santísima Trinidad Public Secondary School, ESO students (1st to 4th year)
Workshop, using embroidery techniques, exploring neighbourhood locations through the concepts of nearby and distant. Artist Irena Visa suggested dealing with a series of neighbourhood landscapes which were extremely marked by urban infrastructure (e.g. roundabouts, new underground railway constructions, large semi-rural spaces, among others) from the perspective of personal experience and connection to the neighbourhood, by stitching together a set of arpilleras, i.e., a kind of stitched collage of cloth scraps on sackcloth, used as an expression of political protest in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship.
Context of work:
Fabra i Coats
Members of the association Acathi. Catalan association formed for LGBTQI+ migrants and refugees from a number of countries of origin.
Workshop – Connecting Device, with artist Xeito Fole.
In this workshop by Xeito Fole, participants will work on the construction of a Connecting Device, a support which would function as a point of information, and of artistic intervention. It will be completed based upon work resulting from sessions of reflection and debate regarding the limits or frontiers, whether physical or symbolic, of the presence in the political body of LGBTQI+ refugees in public space.
Cultural agencies and venues involved:
Bon Pastor Library
This was the first library to integrate an education service to deal with two problems: on the one hand, families outside the educational system, and on the other, families with a high level of school truancy. For this reason, the library is a great support during all stages of education, from pre-school to secondary, which is mainly carried out through the promotion of reading, where active groups are maintained from 3 years of age with weekly sessions.
As for teenagers, leisure and free-time activities take place in the library with the collaboration of citizen volunteer services, as well as workplace insertion through Barcelona Activa, and private projects and foundations such as the Asociación de Jóvenes Estudiantes Gitanos del Buen Pastor Rromane Siklyovne. or the Asociación de Jóvenes Estudiantes Gitanos del Buen Pastor Rromane Siklyovne.
Virginia Cierco, Director of the venue ID Barri Besòs, acts as liaison with the Library.
Trinitat Vella Support and Promotion Services for Citizen Volunteers.
The objective of this project is to provide back-up for new arrivals to the district who may need legal, political or social advice. This backup is provided through in-depth community work with various groups and people to respond to the needs of people willing to integrate, through workshops such as the sewing group formed by local women and immigrants, language exchange workshops, spaces to encourage participation of new arrivals in festivals and popular traditions, or round tables on relevant issues within the district, such as Islamophobia or Ramadan.
Fátima Hassoun is the liaison between ID Barri Besòs and the Servicio de Acompañamiento y Fomento del Voluntariado.
Baró de Viver Civic Centre
The Centro Civico Baró de Viver works as a link between district residents and active cultural projects in the district. In fact, it is one of the most active collaborating spaces in terms of culture and participation, studying the issues which give the neighbourhood a reputation from constructive and transforming points of view. In order to accomplish this, they have revitalised the exhibition hall through school visits, and have initiated a series of workshops, such as the Emotional Cartography workshop, from the point of view of gender, or, to take another example, a family workshop with the aim of breaking generational barriers on stigmatic conceptions of the neighbourhood through the parents.
Beatriz Liebe, Director of the Civic Centre, is the liaison between ID Barri Besòs and the Centro Civico de Baró de Viver.
Trinitat Vella Service for Community Awareness in Public Space
A service in the district of Sant Andreu which depends on the field of Prevention, comprising a team of educators and social workers specialising in Community Work and Public Space. This service produces projects, and carries out community and group activities according to the following transversal themes:
Public Space and Neighbourhood (problems and conflicts arising in public space), Diversity, Coexistence and Intercultural Issues (Difficulties of coexistence, prejudice and racist attitudes among groups) and Sensitivity Training for an alternative management of conflicts (to generate a non-destructive vision of conflict, and to develop a culture of conflict prevention).
Youth Network of Trinitat Vella
A network of technical coordination between services and facilities which work with teenagers in the Trinitat Vella district. Currently the network consists of the Trinitat Vella Library, the José Barbero Civic Centre of Trinitat Vella, the educators "A Partir de la calle", the Information and Attention Point for Women, PIAD, in Sant Andreu, the youth information point of the district of San Sandra, Barcelona City Council Social Services, the Trinitat Vella Youth Hall, and the youth development service of the district of Sant Andreu. The network carries out activities of coordination of services and cultural activism directed at young people.
Rubén Toro is the liaison, situated in Sant Andreu, between ID Barri Besòs and the Trinitat Vella Youth Network.
Guest artist: Irena Visa
Irena Visa holds a degree in Audiovisual Communication from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Her work is very close to cinema, photography and sculpture. In 2014 she realised the project “Casa Bloc”, about the neighbours of this building, a project which was selected for the Sala d'Art Jove. She currently works on collaborative projects and is connected to university circles.
Guest artist: Fito Conesa
Fito holds a degree in Fine Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona. At the moment he is director and coordinator of the project "room1418" realised by MACBA / CCCB, working actively with young people through artistic practices. He was a collaborator with the Master's degree in Contemporary Photography at the U.G. (University of Granada) in 2014, and the Master's degree in Illustration in ELISAVA in Barcelona between 2015 and 2016. He has also been curator and producer of the project "Degenerate, Artist's Editions", has directed videos for the "Coyote" project, at the “la Naval" Gallery. He was art director of the "San Domingo Verde" campaign, Dominican Republic in 2011, among other works related to design.
ID Barri Eix Besòs is part of the ID Barri programme, which Idensitat has been continuing to develop since 2009 as a methodology for approaching specific contexts in cities nationwide and international: Barcelona- La Marina, Eixample Esquerra; Badalona;Calaf; Mèxic DF i Sao Paulo. This programme has worked to influence, based upon artistic practices, in the social space of the city, deploying cross-disciplinary approaches and collaborative methodologies, promoting laboratories of creation and production between different agents involved in the specific subject matter of the context of work.