Revista Habitante: un espacio de conocimiento (Inhabitant Magazine: a space of knowledge) | Plaza de la Constitución, Ciudad de México | April 7th, 2011
When I realized that the sectors without Access to certain image and information production means in the so called “ society of knowledge” they are found in a situation of political and social disadvantage, because they constantly consume information and images that they are not identified with, I proposed the magazine “Habitante” as a mean of production and interchange of information where anyone can participate if they want to, with photos, interviews, essays or anecdotes that would be distributed on the streets. Juan, Oscar and Robert agreed to participate by taking photos. We had a couple of months to talk about what kind of pictures, information and contents we could include; these were very weird talks, by the way. During this period I visited them quite often and little by little we started to get involved in a more personal way, generating a more trustful relationship, which allowed prejudice to be broken in both ways. It was a very interesting process, because even though I was still an outsider they welcomed me as a part of the group, inviting me for lunch and to be with them in different activities. On April 7th of 2011 at 3:00 om we agreed would be the presentation of the magazine in the Zocalo of Mexico City, at the camp of the Mexican Union of Electricians (that was demanding the restitution of the now extinct Luz y Fuerza del Centro). The noise was loud because a march was approaching and would arrive a little after the time our presentation was appointed. A couple of days before we had asked for a sound equipment to the members of the union, which helped us get through all that noise and explain the process and purpose of the magazine. Oscar shared the technique to make flowers with thread, a type of handcraft he had leant on the streets and that he made for a living and eventually helped him to afford the food for those who helped him. After the presentation we invited those who assisted to celebrate that finally we had concluded the first stage of the magazine. Those who wanted came with us to the place they live: a planter they have turned into their home in front of a subway station near the downtown. We bought a couple of drinks and a wonderful encounter took place between those used to this place and the strangers who were there for the first time. An hour later everyone was wrapped with fun and euphoria; the dwellers of the planter, as the good hosts they were cooked a huge pot of chicken “chicharron” with onion and spices, a real culinary treat, because it was a crack addict unemployed chef who cooked it. During all this time all sorts of interchange took place between the visitors and the hosts, and this was priceless for me, because in that moment everything was direct, without intermediaries, and we could break a little of the everyday life of every one there. Juan (while being drunk) registered the event. Among blurry photos, there were some others that would help us remember that day as a temporary occupation that turned the public space into an intimate place.