The international attention to the complex situation that Caracas is living in, coupled with the local interest, has generated several programs for the recovery of the built environment and the empowerment of different sectors and communities. This photographic work shows three different projects that intervene into the built environment in informal settlements and under served communities in Caracas. Most importantly, this photographic work focuses on social and political expressions found in the aesthetics of these projects under different political symbols and values that take over these public and civic spaces.
Aesthetics in architecture is never politically neutral, especially in the case of Venezuela.
As an architect graduated from USB in Caracas, candidate in Sustainable Design in UT Austin, but most importantly, as Venezuelan, the physical transformation of the latest two years in Venezuela called my attention in two different ways. The photographic work of my travel to Caracas this past June 2016 emphasizes these two views of the situation in Caracas’ public sphere. I refer to the first view as the Civic Projects: I photographed projects that used different strategies to configure and provide social services into a public sphere in under-served communities. I refer to the second view as the Symbolic Aesthetic: going beyond the particular projects and showing the different territorial and political territorial claims through symbols and phrases that have profound values found among different public spaces in Caracas.
Caracas has currently complex social, economic, political and cultural dynamics. Regardless this fact, different programs strive to provide to the communities better conditions, to diminish inequality, violence, articulate the city limits with the informal settlements, and ameliorate the quality of life. This social inclusion through the built environment has given place to new way of expression, and, if I dare say, proclamation of the spaces through political symbolism. The objective of this photographic work is for me to show both: my pride for some socially inclusive civic projects at all scales in my country, and my reaction against the polarization of public space.
Reference of the projects in the following images:
Intersticial Park. Lab.Pro.Fab. Caracas, Venezuela (June 16 2016)
Multiprogram Ship. Lomas de Urdaneta. Lab.Pro.Fab. Caracas, Venezuela. (June 17 2016)
Jardin Comunal Mama Pancha. Lab.Pro.Fab. Parque del Oeste, Cacaras, Venezuela. (June 17 2016)