DO YOU KNOW YOUR HERITAGE? IS IT ACCESSIBLE AND FRIENDLY FOR EVERYONE?
The pilot will begin in Santa Bárbara and the first activity, to raise funds: the raffle of a work of art donated by the potter Thimo Pimentel. The main purpose of "Knowing my heritage" is to turn city spaces into barrier-free places.
"Disability is not in me, but in the environment." The phrase is one of the many that inspire the project "Knowing my heritage", of the Fusion Social Inclusion Foundation (Fusion). The visual artist and cultural agent Carmen Inés Bencosme, president of Fusion and creator of the project, tells Listín Diario that the main purpose is to convert the spaces of the city into barrier-free places. How? “People walk through the spaces but not consciously, they don't know what that is, what that was, what is that called –explains Bencosme-.
We want to make them aware that we have a right to that space, but does that space take care of me, is it friendly to me? Or do I easily 'crash' and break my leg?" The purpose of Fusion is, therefore, "to transform our cities and generate a cultural change to promote the full integration of people, breaking down the physical barriers present in the environment through interventions of universal design and eliminating the cultural barriers present in our society, generating awareness through artistic, awareness-raising and training activities”.
The pilot plan will begin in Santa Bárbara (Colonial City), the first marginal neighborhood in America, birthplace of Juan Pablo Duarte and Salomé Ureña and home of Silvano Lora's remembered marginal biennial. Nearby, between this neighborhood and San Antón, the Centro de la Imagen, a space dedicated to the study and promotion of contemporary photography, offered its space to the foundation to host the project.
And since the example must begin at home, Bencosme informs that the first activity is a raffle to raise funds for the remodeling of the Center of the Image road, to turn it into a place accessible to all people.
The object to be raffled off is a work of art: a high-temperature ceramic plate with rust donated by the visual artist Thimo Pimentel
At 1,000 pesos a ticket, only 500 numbers were printed. If you want to collaborate: 809.508.6161 and 809.264.1224. The award ceremony will be live, electronically, on Sunday, May 22, 2022 through a YouTube channel. “WE ARE ALL HERITAGE” Certified in universal accessibility and tourist accessibility by Bircham International University, Bencosme points out that, in general, it is difficult to make Santa Barbara an accessible neighborhood.
“Note that each little house has four or five steps to access it; and the entrances are narrow. But something can be done. In Santa Bárbara there are a lot of things that surely those who live there do not know; That is why the project is called 'Knowing my heritage'. I want to create community, create identity. Patrimony we are all”.
For this reason, and as part of the first actions of the Fusion Foundation, an inventory or survey of houses, businesses and everything in the neighborhood is being carried out.
"We want to know how many men, women and children live there, if there are people with disabilities and what kind of disability." They are also asking members of the community to take photos of what they do in their daily lives and the environment around them.
As Bencosme explains, the Image Center will host exhibitions, talks and conferences where the protagonists will be the residents of the community, their stories, their contributions and their daily lives. “I don't have to look for any lawyer for that because they are the ones who live there; we seek to make them feel important, because they are, because they have a voice in their neighborhood and they will feel proud to show it at the Center”.
The project also contemplates empowering women in the community, offering them the opportunity to grow by valuing their talents and abilities.
“In Santa Bárbara there are many printers. If Doña Juana makes some very good cherry sweets, together we help her get pots, one helps her with the art of the label and another with its printing; and thus Doña Juana already has her little business”.
In short, says Bencosme, to value their daily life, their gastronomy, their music, "that they buy and consume what is in their neighborhood".
Fusion hopes to have collaborators who contribute ideas or resources to make the project grow. They find them on social networks such as fundacionfusionrd and at fusion.org.do/
Unique piece. The ceramic plate raffle is also part of the activities for the tenth anniversary of the Arte Furtivo movement, by ceramic artist Thimo Pimentel, winner of the 2016 National Plastic Arts Award.
Carmen Inés: "Knowing my heritage seeks to sensitize and educate people, make them aware of the environment that surrounds them and thereby generate change."