Alicia Zamora is a member of our tour team. She is a sociologist, plastic artist and cultural executive. Alicia is the responsible person for connecting the artists participating in the project with the local socio-political and cultural scenario in every country. Moreover, she is going to inform us about the tour writing a travel diary, regarding the most important happenings on tour. Read her notes about the first days of the tour:
I started the tour one day late, because as a Nicaraguan I needed a visa to visit Jamaica, which is why I wasn’t able to board February 22th. I arrived the 23d in the evening while Jim and Holger were getting in touch with Jamaican Street art and getting to know local artists.
Arriving, airport, the city; the cars with the Wheel on the right side, a lot of sun, afros, rhythm, materials, textures, public celebrations, azure, green, rose, fatty skins, shining hair. Landscape, history, colony, Africans, Hindus, Germans, Spanish people…a cultural mixture.
The hotel; Jim and Holger. Finally, after one year of planning this tour, finally I get to see them, to know them, we get together.
Kingston; streets, curves, colors, a lot of painting on the streets, different autodidactic artists exhibit their work, sell, paint, work, live, proudly present their interviews in magazines and newspapers: Jamaican street artist.
We talk to some of them like: Freddy C, Derrick Lannaman, Dwight Golding y Basil Clayton.
Here, there is also a notable presence of private companies supporting the art: Digicel, a cell phone company, finances murals created by art students.
In this context a Project called Artistic Encounter in Public Spaces took place; HEARTBEAT; i.e., the tour of artistic interventions in public spaces called De mi barrio a tu barrio for Central America.
The first day of the mural, the artists and Jim were coordinating, to see the composition as a whole and started to work immediately. The selected ones in Jamaica are: Naita Chamberlain, Naecia Dixon, Taj Francis, Dahcia Hong, Jonoi Mesam, Ikem Smith, Amanda Choo Quan and David DaCosta. Some of them are designers, others architects, autodidacts, art students, all of them smiling and young, for some of them it was the first time in front of a wall and the first time to work in team.
We are going to share on this blog some of the pictures of the process which has been made the first day of the intervention: abstract forms, figurative images, colors, acrylics, a dialog between artists and their propositions and the propositions of the rest of the country, which got on the wall as wallpapers: impressions of a mediate format in black and White. The kids of the neighborhood participated and helped to make the sketches stick on the wall, a job which required a lot of dedication.
On the second day of the intervention some new artists showed up in this dialogue: we arrived and found out that all the wallpapers have been ripped off the wall, it was obvious that somebody wanted to send us a certain message.
Maybe it have been some youngsters of the neighborhood who consider this space their own territory to play football at night, maybe they were annoyed when they found the space interfered by others. What really happened with the wallpapers, well, we probably never going to find out, but it is certain, that this dialogue got involved other actors with their own codes and all of this can be interpreted as part of the phenomenon which street art generates.
Then the party day arrived, lots of happy children with Jim’s performance.
The next day, we took the plane to Miami, where the flight was delayed and they made us change gate several times but finally we boarded and arrived in Costa Rica at 2:00 am, of Monday, 27th.
We had a lot of activity going on; a warm welcome at Parque La Libertad en Desamparados, the local artists sharing ideas, organized, and very self-secures of them as persons and their work, buying materials, preparing the wall, distributing the wall, a piece of wall for every artist, colors, busses, people, businessmen, street hawker, the informal sector of the urban market mixed with the noise of the busses speakers and all of this put together in a dialogue with the wall, talking and melting into one single piece of work: the street and its people.
As part of her work with the Goethe-Institute, last year Alicia started a pre-investigation trip visiting the countries which now represent the stations of the tour of interventions in public spaces, the results of her investigation allowed the Goethe-Institute to easily design the Tour Urban Heartbeat.The pre-investigation makes it possible that every country develops its own artistic intervention focusing on its own sociocultural context and its specific scenario.