We learned how La Comuna 13, through positive narratives, is now an emblematic place in Medellin - Colombia and with the help of the representatives from Casa Kolacho, we talked about the neighborhood's historical memory and the gathering space it provides for the people of La Comuna. They offer different life options and provide tools for social transformation, helping young people understand their value. Casa Kolacho is a space of many things; it is a Hip Hop school where over 80 young people from the neighborhood attended, teaching them about the basic elements of Hip Hop: graffiti, dance, rap, and DJing. Additionally, it serves as an art gallery with graffiti created by artists and young people, showcasing their designs filled with art on the walls. There is also a store where the graffiti tour concludes, allowing entrepreneurs to promote their products. Casa Kolacho is a cultural center that redefines the meaning of Comuna 13.
"The graffiti tour emerged as a social perspective, combining the telling of a different story than the one portrayed in the media through art on the walls. It is also a way to utilize the movement that the electric escalators brought to the map of the commune, as well as to satisfy the curiosity of people who wanted to understand the history experienced by each resident of the neighborhood. We aim to bring those stories and messages to more people through artists who are also gaining visibility in these spaces," affirmed Juan David García from Casa Kolacho.
It is important to understand that together we can have a stronger voice and unite in support of messages and spaces that help the community. It is not an easy process to unite an entire community and create this cultural space, but it requires inspiring others and being resilient in the process of transformation and building new narratives in the territory.
We had the participation of La Fiera, a guest at our event, who spoke about her collective. "During the pandemic, the need arose to bring visibility to cases of gender-based violence happening in the territory. Through the La Fiera Hip-hop collective, we write songs that tell the stories of feminicides and violence against the LGBTIQ+ community in the district. We also started directing the project towards sexual health and menstrual care for women and girls to shed light on gender-based violence with the help of Casa Kolacho."
In the realm of social engagement, the main challenge is not losing the flag of wanting to help others and being resilient when there are moments that fracture the process, such as the loss of team members.
Another challenge is to combine resource generation through art and inspire others with the efforts of a united community, sharing stories of pain transformed into spaces of hope and peace.
Social organizations must understand that it is not about the size of the teams or resources, but the desire for change that allows finding spaces for cooperation with other organizations and working together to fulfill transformational purposes.
The result of this experience is always to work from love and the desire to help others, without seeking economic benefits, but rather thinking about the common welfare and the people. Replicating these actions works by generating opportunities for young people, promoting social transformation, and strengthening art and culture as mechanisms for change. Surely, we will achieve economic stability and the satisfaction of seeing how, through art and these processes, we impact children and become a reflection of the work and the beneficiaries of the activities we carry out.
▶️ Watch the webinar (in Spanish) here: