Today in the morning I was writing the “Berlin chapter” for the upcoming book “Stories in Drawings Around the World”. It took my mind to the setting, where I was, while living in Germany. Where the party or event was never just a party or event, rather a meeting of the creative mind. Going to one event became a seed for some other collaboration or happening – constantly growing experience. Being on this wave of writing now, I got inspired to share a similar story from my trip to Yucatan last week.
While in Tulum, I attended a panel organised by Papaya Playa Project and XERI. It was called “The Worlds We Create”, where creators and community leaders like Doumi (WooMoon & Storytellers Ibiza), Mike Podwal (Product Leader at Google VR/AR), Pablo Vargas (Mayan Warrior / Ilumina), and Damian Romero (MUTEK Mexico & Mayan Warrior) shared their experiences.
The event started with a music set by Pascale Caristo and Jimeno Arnaud, continued with breath work and Kundalini Grounding with Prakash Chegu and a small introduction of local organisation LADLE by Claudia Martínez Filizola.
I approached Claudia after the panel to hear more about LADLE – Los Amigos de la Esquina (Friends of the Corner), which is focused on local kids and art. We exchanged numbers and met few days later close by the local school, where some artists and kids were painting murals. From there Claudia took me to their community Corner and explained what has been already created, how the organisation works and what are the visions.
// City as a Gallery
A lot of artists pass by the town and visit local art centre – Tulum Art Club, where they get the contact of LADLE, which communicates with householders and companies asking to make art on their buildings. Through this collaboration the city is transformed into more unique and colourful place (with quality art rather than tagging or poor graffiti).
Also the artists make workshops with the local children. My favourite project was a mural of children’s nightmares on a huge wall. The artists asked children to draw their nightmares and then transferred these images on a wall. After the workshop the artists told the kids: “Look, the nightmares are living on this wall now and you can see them every day, but don’t need to be afraid of them anywhere else anymore”.
Another interesting and fun aspect of this collaboration is that the residential houses, where the kids are living, have also been over painted with murals or bright colours, as part of the project. So each kid and their family has an unique and special place to live. As I didn’t know it before Claudia told me, I thought these houses were designed galleries or restaurants. I find it an up-lifting experience both for the residents and for someone just walking on the street.
// Community Space
One of the main focuses of LADLE right now is making a little building on one of the street corner properties that was donated. The property was originally planned to have an apartment building on it, but when the owners were cleaning it for the construction, local kids came to help. So the owners decided to give this place for the kids instead. Inspired by this act of kindness, the organisation LADLE was formed and called the Friends of the Corner.
At the moment there is no building, not even a roof – only a little storage, some tables, a small garden and a recycling station. Every time it rains, they have to cancel an event. So now the organisation is raising funds for making a proper building (while keeping the trees).
// The Radical Impact
I found LADLE’s actions really radical and such a great way of:
• creating a sustainable community (between locals and foreigners)
• introducing kids to the power of art and having direct impact to their own neighbourhood (city/country/World)
• giving character and uniqueness to the city (making it more attractive, although Tulum has no lack of that)
• through play and art teaching the kids to be more conscious of each other and the environment and this helps to change also the mindset of their parents (hopefully towards using less plastic and keeping the environment clean)
• giving artists worldwide the space to share their vision and meet locals.
I am inspired and I truly encourage you to donate as well if this is a kind of World you would love to co-create.