Elisa Silva (American and Venezuelan, b.1975) of Enlace Arquitectura (Venezuela, est.2007), in collaboration with Sergio Dos Santos, María Virginia Millán, Sofía Paz, Verónica González, Carol Arellano, Jaeson Montilla, Gabriela Álvarez, Emily Yánez and Valeria De Jongh
The Complete City: La Palomera, Acknowledgement and Celebration
Even though barrios are the home of half of Caracas’ population, they are not acknowledged as part of the city. The program Integration Process Caracas does not seek to earn this recognition by “improving” the barrio, but rather by showcasing the rich spatial and cultural dynamics that already exist. For example, the barrio La Palomera has a very green system of open spaces, with 1.75 hectares of walkways, staircases and squares that are ridden with lichens, shrubs and ivy growing spontaneously through pavement and wall crevices. At least two dozen vegetable and flower gardens, with plants used for cooking, curing illnesses and keeping insects away, embed a wealth of knowledge that has been passed down by ancestors who once migrated from rural areas. Recording their stories and understanding the nature of the barrio’s open spaces, through the Ethnobotanical Dictionary of Plants from the Gardens of La Palomera, and a model of the gardens and public walkways, simply acknowledge what the barrio already is. Similarly, barrio residents still practice traditional dances and music, once performed as parts of harvesting rituals. Participating in their celebration represents another opportunity for non-barrio neighbors to acknowledge the city’s cultural wealth. Such gestures of symbolic and spatial recognition signify a fundamental premise in any urban process of integration.
Biennale Sneak Peek
Biennale Sneak Peek
Image 1 – How will we live together?
In the barrios, people are aware of the medicinal and culinary properties of plants. 260 species have been identified in La Palomera and formulated into the Ethnobotanical Dictionary of plants from the gardens of La Palomera.
Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
It isn’t true that barrios do not have public green space, as is commonly assumed. La Palomera, a small neighborhood of 16 hectares and six thousand inhabitants, has over 1,75 hectares of walkways, staircases and squares, full of activity.
WITH THE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT OF
Venezuela Affairs Unit – United States
Elisa Silva, Sergio Dos Santos, María Virginia Millán, Sofía Paz, Carol Arellano, Verónica González, Jaeson Montilla, Gabriela Álvarez, Emily Yánez, Valeria De Jongh
Integration Process Caracas: organized by Enlace Foundation, Ciudad Laboratorio, Fundación Bigott, Hacienda La Trinidad PC, Alcaldía Baruta, Laboratorio Ciudadano, Ensayo Colectivo, Tradición 360, Gabriel Nass and Ambar Armas and the community of La Palomera.
Ciudad Laboratorio: Cheo Carvajal, Gerardo Zavarce, Diana Chollett, Fundación Bigott, Hacienda La Trinidad Parque Cultural, Alcaldía Baruta,Taller Verde, Gabriel Nass, Ambar Armas, Laboratorio Ciudadano Noviolencia Activa, Dora Peña, María Fernanda Abzueta, Rogmy Armas, Ensayo Colectivo, Tradición 360, Harold Palacios, Marialejandra Orozco, Sara Medina
Consultant on plant biology: Enrique Blanco