Papel Soberano In collaboration with Juan Pablo García Sossa Social Sculpture + Discussion Platform Bogotá, Colombia 2018
A platform to discuss, reflect and gather financial resources for Venezuelan migrants who are now in Colombia.
What will happen to the generation of babies and children who are not part of any legal system?
How can we use the framework of art to affect the current process of Venezuelan migration in Colombia?
Currently in Bogotá there are 1,136,000 Venezuelans registered, and other 1,100,000 unregistered and without the possibility to register. To be inside the system allows them to access medical attention, public schools and the possibility of entering a legal job. At the moment, registration is only possible when Venezuelans have the immigration stamp, acquired in the home country before leaving, a condition hard to acceed when migration takes place due to a crisis and people are struggling to survive.
Papel Soberano is an investigation about the role of papers in Venezuelan Migration in Colombia, a country that has barely received migration before. We gathered three kinds of paper: Paper Money, paper document and paper art. At the end, a round table to discuss feelings, experiences, facts, information and ideas from venezuelan migrants who inhabit Bogotá.
In the first phase, 1,500 notes of Venezuelan currency, Bolivares, were collected in Cucuta, at the border with Colombia. These Bolivares were at the day worth around 15€ and weigh 1,5kg.
In less than ten years Venezuela has produced three different series of bank notes, starting with Bolivares Fuertes, Bolivares Fuertes in thousands, and as from 20 August 2018 Bolivar Soberano
On the second phase, these notes were transformed into recycled paper taking the shape of art pieces called Papel Soberano. They represent all the generation of babies and kids who are undocumented because having venezuelan parents and being born in Colombia situates them in complicated legal terms. Each Papel Soberano is to be sold to finance the cost of a Foreigner ID for a Venezuelan, $250 US.
On the third phase, the spectator could find Protest pamphlets in the ground. These pamphlets demand the colombian government to allow free and open registration for venezuelan migrants. The pamphlet contains information on all cases, costs and situation related to the current Venezuelan migrant situation. People could take a Protest pamphlet to get information and paste it somewhere in public space. The idea was to spread information and to demand for real open borders, not only to the land of Colombia, but to the system. "IRREGULAR IS DIFFERENT FROM ILLEGAL" one could read our of the pamphlet. The image of the papers in the ground, reminded some venezuelan spectators of the streets of Caracas after a protest.
To conclude Papel Soberano, we organized a round table on Migration and Art which took place at Valenzuela Klenner Gallery. While many Colombians where rejecting Venezuelans because there are internal problems to solve, we decided to bring both situations together: Colombians who experienced forced displaced migration inside the country and Venezuelans who migrated in the last recent years. The round table intended to create a parallel between both processes, examining the human dimensions of both, further from the political agendas of each situation. The round table was very horizontal and nurturing. At the end we concluded with ideas on how to use art to influence these kind of processes.
Valenzuela Klenner Galería
FLORA Ars+Natura Open Studios 2018