The «Making Neighborhood» project is a collaborative reflection on the ways of inhabiting and being in a city.

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The selected artists: Thomas Strickland, Sydelle Willow Smith, Jessica Lott and Andrei Farcasanu
See the video of Gràcia Televisió: VideoConstruintVeïnatgesEnglishsubtitles

Urban space as a place where a vast number of personal stories, intimate battles, daily routines and people who will probably never meet each other are coexisting anonymously. As much as possible, Jiwar works to create new intersections, new meeting spaces, fresh and authentic perspectives revealing the ways of being and inhabiting the city here and now. Some of the participants of «Making Neighbourhood» are born in the city of Barcelona, some others have arrived to it after long hazardous adventures or as a result of their perseverance. Some have never been out of this city, others have arrived due to tragic circumstances. We, all participants, live together in the same city. We are neighbours.”

Jiwar’s project revolves around neighbourhood’s philosophy, understood as the privileged and necessary space of living and peer interaction. Departing from the agreement with the Africa Centre Foundation of South Africa, Jiwar hosted in residence during the month of November 2013 the South African artist Sydelle Willow Smith, who carry out her project Making Neighbourhood  through interactive workshops with African immigrants living in Barcelona. The tools used are photography and video. With her permission, Jiwar opened a call with the same name, opened to artists and researchers from other disciplines who wanted to reflect on neighborhood relations, preferably from participatory creative processes, thereby building a small human map of the dynamics of interaction in the city of Barcelona. The implication of the city allowed visibility to the project with two public presentations and an exhibition in December in the Office of Citizen Services of the district. This project has been possible thanks to the subvention of the city of Barcelona Intercultural department.

The selected artists for the project where:

SYDELLE WILLOW SMITH (South Africa): Working with participatory photography and video with Subsaharian immigrants in Barcelona.

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Sydelle Willow Smith is a young female South African visual artist, based in Cape Town, with a background in Visual Anthropology. Using both video and photography, she focuses on memory, home, and place making with a keen interest in migration in her short films, documentary essays, and participatory projects. She has been published in Le MondeThe Guardian and Le Nouvelle Observateur, working across Africa both on personal projects, and for N.G.O’s such as Doctors Without Borders. Smith was awarded the 2012 Gisele Wulfsohn Mentorship grant in photography, from The Market Photo Workshop, and The Africa Centre Residency Award to attend Jiwar Creation and Society in Barcelona in November 2013. Amazing Grace Lloyd Maanyina, a short film Smith produced, and worked on as a camera operator with Makhulu Productions – a film about deforestation in Zambia recently won best short at the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in America in 2013, and the United Nations Forum on Forests in Istanbul in 2013.

THOMAS STRICKLAND (Canada). “Transitions”. Working with LGBT refugees in the city of Barcelona.

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Thomas Strickland is an artist, architect, writer and curator. He received his PhD from the School of Architecture at McGill University in 2012. He was a fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2009) and held an appointment as architectural historian in the Department of Art History, Concordia University from 2012-2013. Thomas has designed for award-winning architectural firms, is a founding partner of pouf! art and architecture, and has received numerous grants for his work as an artist and curator. His collaborative practice explores how themes of cultural diversity, embodiment, and individual agency can be incorporated into spatial activist strategies and the formation of publics. During his residency, he will be working with LGBT refugees living in Barcelona to make visible the ways in which non-documented individuals physically and symbolically appropriate urban space – how they make neighborhood.

ANDREI FARCASANU (Romania): Participatory photography with Gràcia neighbourds.

Andrei Farcasanu is a photographer with PhD in social photography for the University of Bucarest. He studied Fine Arts in his city. He lives in Barcelona.

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JESSICA LOTT (US): Writing about

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Jessica Lott is a fiction and arts writer from New York. Her first novel, The Rest of Us, was published by Simon & Schuster (U.S.) in July 2013 (forthcoming in France in 2014). Her essays have been published in The New York Times, PBS: Art21, Frieze magazine London, where she won the Art Writer’s Prize in 2009. At Jiwar, she will be researching her second novel about an international artist community in Barcelona in 1992, as well as working in conjunction with the other artists in residence, reflecting on how communities are formed, particularly amongst people who are separated from their countries and families, and have made their homes in a new place.

THE EXHIBITION

The works were exhibited in the information point of the city in Gràcia district. A very crowded and special space, open to citizens from all conditions.

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Works:

42 pictures in 40 x 50cm frames

12 pictures in 21 x 30cm frames

Some small objects in a display cabinet

6 DIN A 3 in paper

Technical needs:

TOTAL width 18 linear metres: 8m+ 4m + 6m

Height: 3m

With the support of: Ajuntament de Barcelonalog_africa_centre

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And the inestimable collaboration of Acathi3·