26 de enero de 2011Alianza Civil, Colaboración, Ecología, Jóvenes, Murales, Niños, Sociedad Civil, Tijuana, UABC

Building the Community that I want

This project aims to rehabilitate part of the Colonia Altiplano, specifically the 5th section, where are the Pioneers of Tijuana Elementary Schools (morning), Queen Calafia (evening shift) and the Alfonsina Storni Preschool, which in total number 900 children. These are considered the places in greatest need of social development.

Regarding this, a group of civil organizations, in collaboration with educational institutions and volunteer citizens, have joined efforts to restore and enhance the environment, and improve the quality of life in these areas, thereby encouraging the adoption of a social conscience, giving importance to the strengthening of the social fabric with shared goals.

Who will be working with us?…

Tijuana Reacts is a collective platform that seeks to draw the attention of citizens to their responsibility to improve relationships and wellbeing in the city through individual or group efforts. Their strategies focus on developing the conviction, experience and capacity to participate in projects that have a clear concept, consistent with the ecology, through art, design and declarative banners in public spaces.

The Ecologist Group of Tijuana, A. C., is an organization of young adults who share a concern for the environment and its challenges, of our region and the world.

The Social Services Program: Artists in Action, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California School of Arts, focuses on linking students with living processes of transformation, using art as a tool of social participation.

The project involved more than 250 people, including local inhabitants (145), members of CIRAD (30), teachers and students of the UABC School of Art, students in the career training of UPN Educational Participation, The Artifact Workshop, the HEM Collective, Entijuanarte Foundation, the Foundation That Transforms, The Ecologist Group of Tijuana, and Tijuana Reacts A.S. .

With support from the Temporary Employment Program SEDESOL (Secretariat of Social Development), 219 people benefited from a scholarship consisting of two minimum wages per working day, in addition to financial support for paint, tools, and construction materials.

It achieved the objectives of planting 350 trees, build a retaining wall, a gazebo and botanical garden for the elementary school, a playground and an amphitheater for a kindergarten, three community gardens, three school logos, the marking of sport fields for the elementary school, trash removal in all of the 5th. Section of the Altiplano, cleaning and maintenance of a pedestrian bridge and 13 murals depicting concepts of change, balance and positive action.

The Art and Murals team was coordinated by Professor Luis Garzón Masab, which consisted primarily of students from UABC, the art collectives called Vertical and Versus, who also had the support of the Temporary Employment Program.

Notably, the project met its academic perspective in the basics of drawing, through workshops given to 46 residents participating in their area, who were then integrated into the Art and Murals team.

The workshops covered the areas of:

1. Drawing basic representation.
2. Appreciation of the arts
3. Image enlargement and reduction.

These aimed to facilitate the collective efforts and provide basic knowledge to the team, to increase confidence in participation and insure the best results. In addition, to leave behind seeds that could trigger, in the participants, an interest in change, to take a closer look at the value of Art.

From drawings made by the children of Colonia Altiplano, through workshops led by students from the UABC School of Art, in collaboration with members of the community, recurring images were sought, which were then restructured and simplified, using a child’s writing and spelling, conceived from their own view of the things around them, which gave a result based on the principle of “pictorial representation”.

The method was greatly accepted by local residents, who responded positively to the results. Thanks to its success and the new paradigm cultivated mainly in children, from a site survey of 50 participants, now we know that 100% of them said the project would work in other areas of the city and should be implemented, and that 42 of respondents (representing 84%) said they had not seen anything like this done in other neighborhoods of Tijuana. And especially in these difficult times for the society, that they are seeing with new eyes, that children, neighbors and even graffiti artists are showing them a positive alternative. That they could be pouring their energy into productive investment of their time, while learning to appreciate the work it takes to achieve something well done and also to respect other people’s property. Not to mention, that the people obviously received an economic stimulus over a month’s time, while improving their community.

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