Art as a generator of a sense of belonging, no matter where we are

2019/11/19

After almost two months of intense debates, exhibitions and activities, Together Apart, the meeting of art, thought and borders that was born as an artistic response to the humanitarian emergency on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, was closed. It is part of the BIENALSUR 2019 program.

Four emblematic cultural spaces in the Colombian city of Cúcuta - the Julio Pérez Ferrero Public Library, the Quinta Teresa Cultural Center, the Clock Tower and the Norte de Santander Centennial Museum - were the scene of this event directed and curated by Alex Brahim, who focused on an urgent theme that echoes a global migration crisis.

Works by 72 artists of diverse nationalities integrated the exhibitions, such as those of the Colombians Antonio Caro and Beatriz González, the Mexicans Betsabeé Romero and Teresa Margolles, the Argentine Marcelo Brodsky, the Cuban Carlos Martiel, the Honduran Lester Rodríguez, the Cuban Glenda León, the Uruguayan Luis Camnitzer, the Venezuelans Adrián Preciado and Carmen Ludene, the Spanish Nuria Güell and many more.

The programme also included an audiovisual cycle, a pedagogical programme with conferences and workshops, interventions in public space, urban research and participatory actions.

More than nine thousand people participated in 2017 in the first edition of this project that revolves around contemporary art, promoted by the Centro de Estudios Fronterizos -CEF, developed by the Fundación El Pilar in Cúcuta, whose aim is to position this city as the epicenter of the global debate on borders and migration, building a new story of memory and citizenship in real time.

"Undoubtedly, borders are not only physical or territorial; borders are symbolic, of discourse, of ideology. Borders are racial, gender and class borders, and this year we incorporated that component into the general narrative that we proposed," Brahim said during an interview with BIENALSUR web.

"We are convinced that art is capable of detonating small movements, small changes of perception at an internal level and that if these changes are constant and propagate and spread, a process of collective transformation can also begin.

"Together Apart" became an emblematic project of the curatorial axis "Transit and migrations" of BIENALSUR, the biennial that develops through culture new dynamics that contribute to integration, inclusion, coexistence and respect for diversity among peoples.