Journal

tagged caracas

It has been sucha a hectic time after the viva, visa, corrections, etc that some very good news from Venezuela did not find the space for me to write about. Last year saw the publication in Venezuela of the book CABA, Cartography of Caracas Barrios, 1966-2014. And admirable effort by private developer Maximo Sacchini, working along with the architecture firm Enlace Arquitectura. CABA has done what no local authority, government or public entity had been able to articulate into one document: a cartographic map of the growth of Caracas informal settlements in the last 50 years. It grants a denied visibility to the barrios, historically absent from conventional cartography. The information and data carried by the maps followed the guidelines of the national ‘Inventory of Barrios', proposed in the 1990s by architects Josefina Baldo and Federico Villanueva.

Unfortunately for me, the book can only be purchased in Venezuela. In the meantime, the authors have opened a blog, in Spanish, sharing their experiences, methodologies, findings, etc, which I am convinced will be a valuable resource for practitioners and scholars interested in the urban development of Caracas: https://cabaccs.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/first-blog-post/#more-4

For a review of the book in English: https://favelissues.com/2016/04/24/caba/

Enlace Arquitectura: http://www.enlacearquitectura.net/inicio/

Time for personal things slips away when you are overwhelmed with teaching and PhD deadlines!

I want to share a brief update on Busca Tu Espacio, CollectiVoX’s project with The British Council Venezuela in Caracas. We keep going strong and growing despite the deeply challenging political and economic circumstances, attesting to the resilience, creativity and tenacity of Venezuelan young people.

Siul Rasse, a young visual artist, found through Busca Tu Espacio the space to share her art at Metro Station La Hoyada, opening TODAY for the whole city to see! Click here If you want to check Siul’s portfolio: http://siulrasse.blogspot.co.uk/

Find more fascinating events organized by young caraqueños and inspiring testimonials by visiting the website of Busca Tu Espacio: https://buscatuespacio.com.ve/

I want to share the latest news on Bucaral, one of the greatest communities I’ve had the pleasure to work for with Collectivox.

This week, the Gran Misión Barrio Nuevo Barrio Tricolor (http://www.barriotricolor.gob.ve/) arrived to Bucaral, to spruce up all the buildings and common spaces, walls and windows were re[aired and painted, new doors installed. As you may have noticed in my Social Enterprise portfolio, back in July 2014 we spent three intense weeks working alongside the community to install the big colourful sign that now clearly identifies Bucaral. This rather simple but meaningful intervention, requested by the community, gave greater visibility to what is a long established neighbourhood, embedded in the midst of an upper middle class neighbourhood.

I particularly love the statement made by the mural intervention, painted to look like ancient brick walls, with a large colonial style font lettering that reads “Bucaral founded in 1948”. This plaque sends the clear message that Bucaral is a consolidated and long established community, not a “slum” or a shanty town, that the establishment of Bucaral is contemporary with the urban private development of the wealthier neighbourhoods of Altamira, La Castellana and Los Palos Grandes. The other side of Venezuela’s oil modernity.