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Alto Fucha: A territory built through the arts

Leonardo Párraga

The Alto Fucha is one of the most privileged areas in Bogotá, with a panoramic view of the city, united communities and richness in fauna and flora, yet it is precisely one of the most desired places by urban developers. With two mega-projects already planned, the Sendero de las Mariposas and the Parque Lineal del Río Fucha, 7 communities of the area are endangered of being displaced from the neighborhoods they have called home for more than 30 years. It would have negative benefits for the current inhabitants not only because they will be sent to marginal areas of town, with poorer public transportation and access to services, but also because the history and culture created through decades of cooperation from different individuals could easily vanish.

As an exercise of civic resistance bringing together several local organization such as Fundación BogotArt, Colectivo Arto Arte, Colectiva Huertopía, Colectiva Entrelazadas and the Casa de Lluvia de Ideas, the Laboratorio Casa Lluvia de Ideas was born as a space for community organizing, brainstorming ideas of social innovation and enhancing the sense of agency and belonging from the local communities.

The Primera Bienal de Arte Comunitario de San Cristóbal emerged from this space, as a process of reappropriation of the territory through the arts, as an alternative to protest against unfair policies from the government and to bring together the voices of a community with one big claim: We belong here and we will not leave. The territory is ours and we will join our efforts and energy to protect it and improve it. As a community, we will protect nature and its community to achieve long-term sustainability. Close to 1,000 people participated in this process lasting almost 3 weeks, with over 50 artists participating, +12 murals created with a limited budget of USD$2,300. But the most important is the sense of a community re-energized and ready to show how they can solve their own problems and fight against oppressive projects in creative ways.

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