In Solidarity: Living, Making, Together developed during two months in collaboration with initiatives that have – with passion and urgency – recently made collectivity and solidary economy a precondition for a more resilient society. Building on their desire to expand networks, we have worked with, across and between Huerto Roma Verde community garden, Cooperativa Palo Alto housing collective, residents of America neighborhood in cooperation with Social Hub of CENTRO University in Mexico City, and residents of San Francisquito neighborhood in cooperation with Dérive Lab at BEMA in Querétaro. We focused on communication as strategy to restore trust in collective decision making. At the end of the residency, we organized 4 roundtable discussions at Huerto Roma Verde and at the Archipelago of Practices at Muca Roma of the UNAM, including discusions on Solidary Societies, Solidary Economies and Right to the City. More public discussions follow during the duration of the exhibition at Muca Roma, from March 16 to June 18 2017.

Photo above: Sharing knowledge: Conversation at Cooperativa Palo Alto, Mexico City

Title: Mexico – In Solidarity: Living, Making, Together (En solidaridad: Viviendo y haciendo juntos)
A participatory project by the Design for the Living World class, University of Fine Arts/Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg.  In conjunction with Mexibility – We are in the city, we cannot leave it (Estamos en la ciudad, no podemos salir de ella) on the occasion of cultural and science exchange between Mexico and Germany in 2016.
Date: February 13 – March 26, 2017
Location: Mexico City, Queretaro and Mezquital Valley
Students: MacKenzie Boomer, Xin Cheng, Lisa Eggert, Tino Holzmann, Lea Kirstein, Robert Köpke, Barbara Niklas, Konouz Saeed, Kathrin Sohlbach, Mana Stahl, Julia Wycisk, and guests of the class Hye-Eun Kim (Konzeptdesign, HFBK Hamburg), Julia Tielke (Film department, HFBK Hamburg), Susanne Wilk (scenographer and architect, Berlin) and Tessa Zettel (artist and researcher, Sydney).
The Class of the Design for the Living World in collaboration with: The Mexico City based Huerto Roma Verde, Palo Alto housing collective and CENTRO University, as well the Derive Lab in Queretaro.
Supported by: Goethe Institut Mexico, Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg and Muca Roma of the UNAM Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.


In Solidarity: Living, Making, Together

For over three decades, Mexico has lived through austere neoliberal conditions, accelerated by recent global crises. In this context, community-led micro-economies and local neighborhood initiatives have emerged as laboratories for testing methods of self-organization and solidarity.

The In Solidarity: Living, Making, Together project envisions the city as an archipelago of these small-scale economies and bottom-up initiatives. By sharing and connecting diverse practices and stories, it seeks to grow a network that empowers participants and their communities. Such integrated decentralized knowledge contributes to the creation of a resilient system, capable of absorbing shocks and resisting pressure from the outside.

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Working with Cooperativa Palo Alto Residents

Places in Palo Alto, video by Goretti Angeles Cabrera, Erandeni Sofia Espitia Mejia, Juan Daniel Franco Estrada, Luis Garcia Martinez, Olin Yaotl Márquez Cabrera, Barbara Niklas, Julia Tielke and Gloria Valdespino Domínguez.

In the first quarter of 2017, we were given an insight into the neighborhood of Palo Alto, a living cooperative in Mexico City. Palo Alto is an example of self-organization and self-determination of a people exploited by neoliberal circumstances.

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Working with America residents

In October 2016 we met Paulina Cornejo who invited us to the Social Design HUB of CENTRO University, a learning initiative based on collaboration, which aims to build bridges between the campus and the surrounding America neighborhood. Our interest was to research expressions of solidarity within the community.

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Working with San Francisquito residents

In February 2017 we lived and worked in the San Francisquito neighborhood of Querétaro. With the help of local residents and BEMA, a newly-developed cultural hub, we constructed a mobile coffee cart using salvaged window frames and doors from the BEMA site. The cart became an extension of BEMA, a platform to visit neighbors, offer them coffee and talk about their ways of working and living.

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Working with Huerto Roma Verde community

Huerto Roma Verde is a holistic laboratory of knowledge that for the last five years has been a growing garden dedicated to the community. Through experimentation and resilience, this independent space has succeeded in generating strategies that include: permaculture, solidary economy, community building, recycling, holistic and ancestral medicine, sustainable methods of construction and the integration and awareness of nature in the city.

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