|Fernando, director of La Escuelita community center in Santo Domingo, with Mojdeh the Mexico City IHP coordinator and Kara, looking over the mural depicting the wreakage of colonization and women as pillars of community.|
|Overlooking Santo Domingo from the silkscreen studio at dusk|
|A blurry shot of Santo Domingo by night|
|Bolivian music and dance festival in the street outside La Escuelita, 2 blocks from my homestay|
|Sembradores Urbanos workshop and examplary garden space (and murals!)|
|Container gardening for everyone at Sembradores Urbanos|
|Arrival in Oaxaca: homestay roof garden and neighborhood|
|Midmorning in the roof garden after 2 weeks in the homestay-- tomatoes are now orange!|
Homestay in Sto. Domingo, Distrito Federal a.k.a. Mexico City:
Un vaso de pedacitos de mango: orange, architectural cut-outs, like the cement city walls of this colonia, haphazardly arising after the Invasion of Santo Domingo. Structurally sound but surprising-- that orange paint is political propaganda, doled out for subversive beautification.
Things I´ve been doing:
-Museum of Anthropology-- did you know the ruins were painted in vibrant rainbow colors?
-walking through Chapultepec park [one of DF´s many green spaces, it´s much less gritty than its reputation], trying different street food snacks like puffed amaranth krispie treats and chili-rolled tamarind balls
-living life in the Juárez family home, sharing a bed with Kara behind makeshift sheet curtains in a slightly exposed second story room, waking up to the man advertising cooking gas via megaphone every morning (and noon, and night)
-getting sort of sick from the dry, polluted air, and sucking on lozanges with some sort of novacaine stuff that makes your whole tongue go numb
-class lectures on Mexican political history, foreign aid policies, and maize culture [mural down the block reads ¨sin maize no hay país¨ without corn there is no country]
-Visited Frida Kahlo´s casa azul full of brilliant colors and giant paper maiche marionettes in bold patterns; a tragic beauty of a shared home of such pain, creation, power
-road the metro a lot-- 3 pesos flat rate!
-learned about ¨the politics of shit¨ aka sewer systems, from the guru of dry composting toilets Cesar Añorve; visited a rainwater harvesting catchment system NGO called Isla Urbana
-silkscreened t-shirts and anything I could get my hands on with designs created by the group and facilitated by Flavio who runs a community studio
-ate PAN Y MÁS PAN [sweet breads and pastries from the panadería] like investigators every night picking, nibbling, sharing
-visited Sembradores Urbanos an urban gardening teaching center and workshop space. super inspirational, beautiful, well organized, doing so much yet very streamlined and accomplished, integrated in the community. Plus awesome informational pamphlets on lombricomposta [worm compost] and container gardening, and I´m a sucker for good graphic design
so far is fun, to say-- split in two syllables like wah-HAH-ka. Universidad de la Tierra [where classes are based] is a rich red color on the outside and topped off with a sweet rooftop garden. Walked to my homestay with my overwhelmingly heavy suitcase, but it was all worth it upon arrival at Laurentina´s home and invited up to the boarder´s bedroom adjacent to the roof-- where dim lights of residences spread in a single story layer before the mountain silhouette. And in the foreground, a potted garden of fruits, vegetables, orchids in bloom, and space for yoga
Classes every morning, afternoon adventures that include explorations of the Zócalo historic plaza and wide cobbled streets of colorful shops and houses that surround it; weaving my way through the 20 de Noviembre street market, following Jessie in pursuit of perfect tamales de frijol; sampling chocolate at each of the shops on the chocolate street; helping some IHP alumni plan a roof garden & composting toilet to renovate their newly inhabited housing
TEOTITLAN del Valle
Mountainous weaving village. Oppressive midday heat. Women´s cooperative. Quedándome con Petrona y Juan y David Hernandez, en las camas (con Majandra) al lado de telar [Staying at the Hernandez home in the beds, with Majandra, next to the loom]. The fabrication of the tapetes [tapestries] is methodic, meditational, rhythmic-- the creaking loom responds to Juan´s foot peddling like it´s saying "a ver, a ver." All hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn with natural plants and cochinilla harvested at particular times of the year from the surroundings; true craft.
>>>>> more to come <<<<<<