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Art Catalog in Juchitán

Antonio Moya-Latorre

In the book “Oaxaca. A Book of Dreams”, a set of 99 pictures with their respective descriptions gives us a sense of what some children of Oaxa­ca were dreaming during the month of Novem­ber in 2014, when Roger Omar collected them from several schools and libraries. Literally made of dreams, this catalog brilliantly com­municates the feelings of these children: their wishes, their fears, their hopes. Art is, among many other things, an effective means of communication, especially for those who we typically do not pay attention to.

In his book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” (1968), Paulo Freire called for a deep reconsideration of education seeking the conscientization of oppressed people. Fifty years later, we still find in societies across the world, certain groups of people that have been traditionally either deprived of basic rights, marginalized from the rest of the society, or simply ignored when they most need support. Hence, Freire’s approach is still today of great interest: enhancing the conscientization of disempowered peoples may increase their chances of living a life they deserve and desire. Why not to take advantage of the potential of art to expand individuals’ conscientization?

This project, an art catalog, collects some of the most inspiring art experiences that are contri­buting to the reconstruction of Juchitán. The catalog also seeks to contribute to the reinforcement of the cultural infrastructure in Juchitán by establishing connections among existing artistic projects. Finally, this work reflects on the lessons that we might learn from the experiences in Juchitán to help other communi­ties deal with similar critical situations in the future.