Saturday, June 27, 2009

Barrancabermeja and Bogota, Colombia

Hey Folks,

Man things have been busy. Shaun Burner came down to Colombia to participate in the Memoria Viva project and we were cooking. The first city we hit was Barrancabermeja and that region is hot in all aspects. Politically there is a lot of violence that occurs and literally the minute you step out of the plane you are sweating.

We got in and hit the ground running. First we completed a mural at Credhos, a human rights organization. The founders of Credhos have been displaced and their current leaders are on the government list for the paramilitary to assassinate. Even though the folks there knew their life was in danger, they still continue to fight for human rights in their city. Their strength, resilience and dedication was humbling. It touched us to the core.

Credhos was nice enough to house our workshop, so in return we dropped a mural for them in their patio.


We conducted the workshop with folks ranging in age from high school to elderly. Their stories were amazing and their losses were enormous. They painted their ideas for the murals and shared with us their experience. From this we created the mural at the Public Library Galvis Galvis which is on the campus of the University of Barrancabermeja. The University was very supportive and let us paint the mural on wood in the auditorium of their main entrance.



And on our last night, after the mural was carried over to the Library and installed, we dropped a little mural for fun right next to the office of the administration. We even got some students and administration to paint it with us.

From there, we jumped on a cold bus for a long ride back to Bogota. We enjoyed a week of rest then got right back to it painting a mural for the office of Reiniciar, the law firm that currently has the case against the Colombian Government in the Inter American Human Rights Courts for their participation in the massacre of the Union Patriotica.


Then for the next few days we linked up with the artist crew APC to complete a mural at the National University of Bogota. This was a great collaboration and a blessing to be able to paint with Bastardilla, Stinkfish, Aeon, and Zas. Then with the luck of great timing, Skope from Australia landed in Bogota and came through to help it all come together. It was a great collaboration between TYS, APC, and Skope.

The quote and theme of this mural was based upon a quote from Pablo Neruda: They can kill the flowers, but they cannot stop the spring.


The videos from these murals are coming shortly. We are waiting to see which version will be released because, we are concerned for the safety of our participants from the workshops. We will either release just the mural version or the version with the workshops included. We are waiting on clearance. So please be patient with us, we just don't want to put anyone in more danger.

Thanks for keeping up with us,