Despite the violence that rages throughout Ciudad Juarez, scores of artist collectives around the city continue to create art, engage youth, and improve the lives of people in their communities. Now they are attempting to engage each other in the midst of the horrifying chaos in which they survive daily. Conectarte: 10 Years of Collectives and Communities in Juarez, an unprecedented attempt to gather and celebrate the experience of these artist collectives, is that dream coming true.
A group of artists and activists from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso have organized the conference, scheduling it for April 8-9 on the campus of the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez. Artist members of participating Juarez collectives dedicate themselves to making art and are rarely, if ever, compensated for their efforts. However, they may attend Conectarte without fee.
The event will include multimedia presentations by artist groups from around the city and an exhibition and interchange of art and ideas between the collectives. David Flores of Colectivo REZIZTE, will present a recent history of artist collectives in Ciudad Juarez, from 2000 to the present, looking at shared successes and challenges for the future.
Conectarte creates an opportunity for these artists form new relationships, propose new collaborations and share their artistic achievements. They will document the entire conference in photo and video. That record will serve as a reference not only for the collectives themselves but also to anyone interested in contemporary culture in Juarez.
These artists, many of them participants in the successful INBAsión in January, are talented, capable and inspired. They invite donations from the public to help sponsor the costs of the conference including documentation, printing costs, and-not least of all--food for artists attending. During the coming week, individuals can help sponsor Conectarte by contributing on Kickstarter.com, making the Conectarte opportunity for creative interchange possible. Every sponsor will receive a thank you gift.
The artists collectives on the U.S.-Mexico border have shared a small sampling of some of their contemporary works. It is attached to this post. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)
The author will contribute any income from this posting on Allvoices during the coming week to Conectarte. To help the artists, widely forward the link to this story of hope in the midst of violence.