Blog Culture Matters

May 31
In Bolivia, the Swiss Cultural Fund overcomes the barriers of COVID-19

Despite the pandemic, in Bolivia, the Swiss Embassy and Cooperation has already supported two calls for cultural incentives through its Competitive Fund.

Twenty initiatives that promote social cohesion and resilience through art and culture, reinforce democratic values, create spaces for intra- and intercultural dialogue and develop artistic processes, especially for women and young people, linked to local development issues, are supported in this way. This initiative, implemented by Solidar Suisse, seeks to generate reflection and dialogue based on values such as respect and solidarity. In this way, the various artistic and cultural proposals bring together ideas and help to face the new reality with a commitment to a positive future.

An example of these supported initiatives during the pandemic is the project "Social Sculpture against Violence", developed in the municipality of Viacha (La Paz). Bolivia has the highest number of cases of physical violence in the Latin American region. Through art as an ally of community social action, this project worked to prevent cases of violence against women and young people in this municipality, which increased during the pandemic.

With the support of the Fund, a drawing competition on the prevention of violence against women was held for children and young people in the municipality. With this inspiration, six Bolivian sculptors worked on sculptures to inspire the population in the fight against violence against women. The community was part of this work as they had the opportunity to participate not only with their drawings, but also to experience clay modelling  (under strict biosecurity measures) in order to reflect on violent attitudes and practices, always with the theme of preventing violence through art work.​

Sculpture (Solidar Suisse)

Competition winner and sculptor (Soidar Suisse)
"We artists have developed the sensitivity to capture emotions, situations and experiences in an object that will become our work. It is necessary to take this art to the everyday life of a square or other public space in travelling exhibitions, not only for recreational or aesthetic purposes. Our proposal aims to generate, through artistic mediation, social change in the problem of violence". (José Mamani, sculptor)

Another project called "Creators of music and clown: testimonies of quarantine" had the central objective of making visible the artistic and creative potential of adolescents and young people who provided their "testimonies of quarantine", to later convert them into artistic languages.

It all began in the middle of the pandemic, during the months of rigid quarantine, when we have all experienced a diversity of feelings, sensations; we have lived many situations that have become very complex in themselves because of the closure of schools. We have experienced confinement in homes and, therefore, social disarticulation throughout the country. This have had a huge effect on children, young people and adolescents (Edson Quezada Rodríguez, project leader).

With adolescents and young people from different areas of the city of Cochabamba, meetings were held in which they could create their own "quarantine testimonies" using the quipus technique, i.e. writing through the different meanings of the colours. They then proceeded to transform these testimonies into artistic languages. The young people and adolescents went through clown and music workshop sessions, to then compose songs and create clown plays. These creations were then published on social networks.

Clown Play (Circus El Tapeque)


Thank you for the inputs on the project to Selina Baumberger, responsible for Culture at SDC in Bolivia. 

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