Space/ID Madrid – Day 2

July 9, 2013 – Spain really runs on its own time. Nothing happens before 10:30am.  We eased into the day with a body exercise in the park at our front door and then sent them out in small group to do the following tasks, like treasure hunters:

1. Choose a context to examine: architecture, animals, nature or media

2. Document expressions of gender, patterns that emerge, and modes of communication about gender norms in this community of Lavapies

3. Present to the group your findings through theater, photos, videos and maps

Leandr* presents the map of gender advertisements and signage in Lavapies. The raked angle represents the hill one walks up toward the city center.

Leandr* presents the map of gender advertisements and signage in Lavapies. The raked angle represents the hill one walks up toward the city center.

Jewels like this rose to the surface in conversation about the task:

“Buildings that are not all uniform but look lived in allow for a plurality of people.”

“Dogs didn’t have any apparent gender, unless it was imposed by their owner.”

“The men mostly stand and lean against the trees, but we were told that’s just not what the women do.”

We make a practice of providing space to the participants to bring their own knowledge to the group by taking an hour to teach a new skill or show their work.  Laura took the microphone to talk about artists as facilitators and provided a slideshow of many examples of engaging public art.

A discussion of what makes “queer space” or “safer space” possible completed our time today at Casino de la Reina.  It’s a complicated discussion. right?  We know it is vital to speak out for what kind of community we want to create here, and at the same time we know that “safe” has so many aspects beyond sexuality and gender, such as race, class and ability, so it’s a hefty conversation to craft.

Tonight we’ll have the classic “NGO Market” where participants will share literature and best practices from their work.  We are drilling down this time with the specific questions of “What does your organization do really well? Where does your organization need to grow?”

Like the Market, every practice in SpaceID is oriented toward critical reflection and providing the discovery of new creative channels.

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