Colleen Brady | Vladimir Gintoff
Empatía OAX is a project by Colleen Brady (MUP 2018) & Vladimir Gintoff (MArch I/MUP 2021) for the Harvard Graduate School of Design Course “Beyond Reconstruction: Mexico and the 2017 Earthquakes.” In a world increasingly focused on technical response, early warning systems, and constant states of vigilance, we were interested in exploring the human, person-centered side of disaster response and preparedness. As admitted outsiders, we sought not to propose specific solutions for earthquake reconstruction in Oaxaca, but to establish a broader system that could empower and centralize community voices in disaster response. Recognizing that recovery is a process, and that Oaxacan communities remain vulnerable to future earthquakes, this system would not just help in responding to the 2017 earthquakes, but would strengthen communities in the future, as well. For a system like this to be implemented, we recognize it would need to be in Spanish (or in other local languages, should it be explored elsewhere). This website is thus meant not as an immediately implementable proposal, but as an exploration of what such a system could look like. We also recognize the benefit of online platforms like websites, blogs, and social media to bridge language divides – particularly when connecting communities facing similar challenges worldwide.