development learning power & power relations reclaim reflection writing

memory making

We curate our own experiences. Our lives.
So that they don’t say we were never here, we did not exist.
We were here. We are here.

I was noticing how at every event held at La Escuelita, they were always taking photographs, some which would end up in the annual newspaper/magazine, La Calavera, that they print and distribute. Additionally, anytime an article in one of the newspapers mentioned the centre or the barrio, Santo Domingo, the article would be posted on one of the bulletin boards at the entrance so that everyone would be able to see it. These included pieces on water shortages in the barrio, to one covering the threat of closure facing the centre.

On one wall there are newspaper cuttings from as far back as the 1970s that feature the struggles on land ownership, the building of the centre itself and of the houses in the Pedregales- a memory project. Some of this no doubt ended up in the two books that were published by the centre: ‘Las Mil y Una Historias del Pedregal de Santo Domingo’ and a shorter version featuring drawings by children from the centre.

I thought of it as both a way of memory making in the absence of other ‘formal’ or governmental recognitions; as well as way in which La Escuelita positions itself as integral and one with the neighbourhood of Santo Domingo. In this way, they make their existence and the existence of the barrio known and inextricable.

Somos. Y estamos.

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