¡Dibujemos a tu mascota! (Let’s draw your pet!) | Agora of the Unidad Habitacional Nonoalco-Tlatelolco, Ciudad de México | July 1, 2011.

The main topic of the workshop with Carlos Capelán was the symbolic material of everyday life. During the week at the Unit of Academic Relationships of the Centro Cultural Universitario-Tlatelolco, we discussed the symbolic material essential for the social and individual identity of the human beings. This material exists whether we recognize it as art or no. Besides this reflection, we organized a public intervention at the housing complex of Nonoalco-Tlatelolco with the following limitations: intervene the public space without adding nothing, execute an activity that would be meaningful for us and our interlocutors; not do to a performance to call the attention and, lastly, accept that it was possible that we would fail and that was something that would be good if it added to our experience and allowed us to generate hooks for future works.

During the first day we wandered the complex in teams to observe it. Afterwards we commented three circumstances that caught our attention: the large number of dogs, how architecture conditions behavior and the casual talk with Mrs. Margarita. She’s an inhabitant of Tlatelolco. Single, intolerant to “tepiteños” (people from Tepito), owner of 30 canaries and 2 dogs; and worried about
coexistence in the public space. We were surprised that a person who would rather murder their neighbors would talk in this familiar way with our peers –complete strangers to her– about the pleasure she gets from drawing her pets. Then we focused on the possible relationship between trust to animals and distrust to people. Mrs. Margarita started a chain of trust. She introduced a neighbor so we would draw his pets and he introduced us to someone else. Thus, during four days we visited apartments, drawing pets and talking to the owners. It was really meaningful having a certain familiarity to go into people’s homes, especially during this time of violence.

During the afternoon of the last day we invited all the neighbors to the agora at the complex so they would draw their pets. Only a few of them accepted, most preferred that we did the drawings. We drew and talked to them for three hours. At the end, we concluded  that the most meaningful was getting close to the neighbors during the first days and the discussions in the Seminar.