At a time when our reality is a climate and health emergency, the void left by the sense of collectiveness, the devaluation of communal living, cutbacks to public services and the ever-present privatisation of life, Grigri Projects and SERCADE (with its project Programme Afrique) put forward, in line with Museo Situado’s manifesto Facing a Clamour that Cannot Be Ignored: The Ethics of Catastrophe, a common space from which to collectively think about community living in the city of Madrid. The project is supported by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives.
As a medicine cabinet well stocked with first aid material, the project looks to delve deeper into the conception of care with the help of ideas and useful resources to identify what is good for us collectively and to open pathways that allow us to live differently. All of this is mutually understood with the knowledge, particularly migrant knowledge, and experiences of people who inhabit this collectiveness in the search for a multicultural community neighbourhood with shared future perspectives.
The programme A Medicine Cabinet for My City is made up of six workshops and two bespoke guided tours to be carried out in spaces inside the Museo Reina Sofía, SERCADE, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Medialab Prado from 6 May to 12 June, culminating in an open session for the general public.
The sessions are organised around three hubs, from which a commons map is articulated. The first focuses on the places in which participants feel at home (and feel uncomfortable), as well as people who, through care, have determined their lives. The second axis is related to the currents established from the paths that make up their daily lives in the city, involving accessible and inaccessible places, with an outline of each circumstance. The third and final hub alludes to times in which certain spaces and people provide, via different ties, a sense of belonging. This themed tour is enhanced by Yannick Tresor Dzouko Komgang, an intercultural mediator, volunteer and interpreter at SERCADE, Adam Hassane Saleh, a contributor with Grigri Pixel, and the Grigri Projects residencies programme, workshops and seminars, and Susana Moliner and David Pérez, both part of the Grigri Projects team.
The final session in the programme, open to the general public and held in the Museo Reina Sofía, displays the results to come out of previous encounters, offering a “first-aid kit” framed inside a conversation between philosopher Marina Garcés and theologist and activist Pepa Torres. Furthermore, the event is part of the activities organised around the Museo Reina Sofía’s Neighbourhood Picnic.
Marina Garcés is a philosopher, writer and teacher. She is a degree and MA lecturer in Art and Humanities Studies at the Open University of Catalonia, and has steered her career towards the practical, critical and collective thought she develops from Espai en Blanc. Her publications most notably include En las prisiones de lo posible (Bellaterra, 2002), Un mundo común (Bellaterra, 2013), Filosofía inacabada (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2015), Nova il·lustració radical (Anagrama, 2017), Ciutat Princesa (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2018) and Escola d'aprenents (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2020).
Grigri projects is a platform centred around research, creation and cultural production, acting in participatory design, urban intervention and transdisciplinary community processes, in collaboration with other local and international collectives and agents.
SERCADE. The Capuchin Service for Development and Solidarity is a non-profit association that has channelled social action developed by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin since 1998. Its social work is deployed in programmes with vulnerable collectives, projects of collaboration and cooperation among other organisations from national and international spheres, denouncement actions in the media and on social networks, and in initiatives to advocate an appreciation of disadvantaged collectives.
Pepa Torres is a philologist, social educator and a resident in Madrid’s Lavapiés neighbourhood, where she is an activist with collectives of migrant and feminist struggles: Red Interlavapiés, Senda de cuidados and Territorio Doméstico.