Conexiones improbables has completed the 2016 edition of the Barrio Creativo (Creative Neighbourhood) programme launched by the Irun City Council, which aims to make the city’s neighbourhoods more creative.
The project was set up by using the AuzolArt format, whose methodology follows a participatory process that culminates in an artistic intervention to find out a way of addressing an identified need.
The project was conducted in the Ventas neighbourhood of Irun and a Steering Group was formed for it comprising people from the Landetxa Neighbourhood Association, a mediator and the artist Ixi García (Pink Gorillas), as well as an artistic proposal suggested by Irun’s Kunsthal Higher Education Design Centre.
After several working sessions with the Steering Group, an OpenLab took place that welcomed the participation of anybody in Irun who wanted to propose an idea. It took the form of a photo marathon that aimed to detect needs in the Ventas neighbourhood and photograph them. From all of these suggestions, the Steering Group decided that an artistic intervention should be carried out in a disused green zone, a triangular unlit open area measuring 6,500 square meters located between the railroad tracks, national highway and eastern boundary of the Aranibar area.
The mediator suggested various artists who could take charge of this intervention proposal and the Steering Group decided on Irun’s Kunsthal higher education design centre. The proposal had various goals: to make use of an abandoned space, to create an outdoor area of coexistence and to generate a dynamic learning space.
ARTISTIC INTERVENTION. RESULTS
The artistic intervention included a little earth moving to create zones at various levels to differentiate spaces and create paths. The earth that was removed was used to create a series of mounds to interact in the space in various ways according to the moment, either as rest or play areas. The forms also create a labyrinthine-like path. Various elements were also planted to add volume, colour and perspective to the space and complement the environmental regeneration with public use. Modular furniture elements constructed by neighbourhood locals were also added so that they can be adapted to various activities or needs. All of this located in a natural meadow.
Various materials were created to document the process (a video, photographs, large illustrations and a model) and these led to an exhibition at the CBA cultural space. The exhibition marked the final touch that was needed so that the people of Ventas can continue to manage what has already become known as the Community Garden of Landetxa in an independent, participatory and supportive manner.
But the real outcome of the Barrio Creativo programme in Ventas is actually the fact that people of Ventas participated in and made their own a process and project that they now want to continue to shape and, above all, bring to life. They also appropriated a municipal initiative that sought to make a more creative neighbourhood and has in fact managed to make a more cohesive neighbourhood, with people working together to devise an artistic intervention by designing, coordinating and constructing it. They also became empowered as citizens by deciding what neighbourhood need could be addressed by art. They now think in terms of the future, proposing activities that will go beyond the purely recreational to create cohesion and tradition. And what they learn during the process remains entirely in their hands.
You can see all the projects of Rutas Singulares here http://www.rutas-singulares.eu/