Work done with the support of the Comunativa Foundation in the Tejiendo Conciencia exhibition. French alliance of Manizales, Colombia. From April 8 to May 6, 2018, event supported by the CULTURE MINISTRY - National Program of Cultural Concertation.
Mrs. Maria has been displaced several times, but she brought with her the life. She is one of the few people who still keeps her vegetable garden in one of the apartments donated by the Ministry of Housing of the National Government, located in Villas de Santa Fe, a social Interest housing urbanization in Robledo neighbourhood, commune 7 of Medellín.
Most of these have been removed, due to the neighbours of the owners did not agree these, for "aesthetic" reasons. ISVIMED (Social Housing and Habitat Institute of Medellín) also informs them that they only own the internal part of their apartments and therefore their neighbours can request that the vegetable garden, be removed. As a lag of the Spanish crown time, the work of the field has been relegated to the lower classes, so planting cabbages or onions bush is badly seen socially.
In a symbolic act of resistance, Mrs. Maria sows along with two other people (one of them Juan David Delgado, founder of the initiative COMUNATIVA - urban vegetable gardens of Manizales) in worn leather suitcases.
This pages contain stories and knowledges that Maria shared with me during visits to her home in Tower 49 of Villas de Santa Fe. She lives in a social Interest housing urbanization in Robledo neighbourhood (commune 7 of Medellín), which was built by the government specially for people who have been victims of forced displacement, much of this complex has fallen into oblivion due to the current ways of life and structural violence which especially attacks the memory of those affected. This is a term use by Johan Galtung in his Violence Triangle Theory, it refers to a type of violence that affect a set of knowledge and ways of life, of some comunities, perpetuating social inequalities, monopolies, among others.
I interviewed the inhabitants of the tower, during which they told me about the diseases they suffer from. Maria then shared with me the remedies she know with plants from her vegetable garden. In addition to recipes, I took photos of objects and spaces in their homes which allude to their rural origins. In these works, I seek to convey the people as more than a government-assigned apartment number. I ask, what do they suffer from? What knowledge do they carry with them? How do they heal themselves with this knowledge that violence couldn’t upset them?
For those who opened their doors for me, this was an opportunity to share natural remedies they knew, their plans for the future, and their vision for peace in Colombia (they unanimously support the current peace process). That is why this newspaper is designed to be an organic seed planter: each person, after reading, can plant a seed inside and either use the planter as a pot or put it in soil and allow the paper to decompose. These 5cm x 5cm containers are living spaces that embody resilience and food security and sovereignty.