Sunday, April 15, 2012

Young Juarez artists engage a violent city at Conectarte conference

The second annual Conectarte conference in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico will gather more than 100 young artists from across the city on April 20. These youthful artists consciously use art to understand and to change their world. This year's theme, Art in Dialog with the City, considers how artists use the city: as subject, backdrop, context and catalyst. The city itself appears in mediums as diverse as rap, murals, graphic design, film, dance, among others.

In recent years Juárez has become one of the most violent cities in the world, with a 2010 murder rate of 271.89 per 100 thousand inhabitants. More than 10,000 people have been murdered there since 2008. The violence and resulting insecurity have pushed thousands more to abandon the city, close businesses, and retreat from the city streets.

INBasion project mural in Mexico City by Juarez artist
This is the setting in which the young artists and activists involved in Concetarte are using art to change their world. For the second year in a row, the Conectarte conference creates a space in which young artists can present their artwork, engage in critical conversations, strengthen existing networks, form new alliances, define collective challenges and construct collective dreams.

A series of street murals in Ciudad Juarez
Conectarte 2012 Juárez: Arte en Diálogo con la Ciudad seeks additional funding to augment the professional guidance and organizational support of the Instituto de Arte, Diseño y Arquitectura de la Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juárez, the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso and Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Additional economic support provided by Instituto Chihuahuense de la Cultura.

Sponsorship of this art/peace event is available to the general public through Kickstarter. Supporters at various levels will receive rewards, generous gifts from the event participants.

The various art collectives since last year's successful Conectarte conference continued to make art, engage with their communities, organize and promote cultural events for people of all ages and to build informal networks between local and national artists. This second conference allows them to gather together again and evaluate the year, to build on relationships and proposals that were initiated in Conectarte 2011, and to plan a series of educational activities and critical conversations that will sustain their work in the year ahead.

Conectarte 2012: Arte en Diálogo con la Ciudad from kerry conectarte on Vimeo.

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