THE ALGARABÍA STORY
Planning for Proyecto Algarabía began when Fabian and Solymar met in Mexico City in 2009 during a research trip Solymar was conducting, with women’s collectives as part of her thesis with the Community Studies Department at UC-Santa Cruz. Fabian had been actively working within the QuilomboARTE collective as a writer and facilitator, traveling through Latin America, working with young people through Hip Hop, poetry and spoken word.
During this initial trip, Fabian and Solymar began to brainstorm ideas on how to link critical pedagogy, the Arts and youth movement building into a working, global organizational platform.
In 2010, Solymar returned to Mexico City to begin developing the blueprints for Proyecto Algarabía. Both coordinators used this time to become involved with community programs in Mexico City and in the State of Mexico. Solymar began working with the development of ‘social justice’ curriculum for groups in Mexico and Fabian continued to travel with the QuilomboARTE collective working with youth in Dominican Republic, Guatemala and immigrant youth in Spain, learning from and making connections with other youth groups.
Through our initial experiences working as a team, we realized the importance of a program that was centered in critical pedagogy and oral history. As a team we have a wealth of experiences with community & youth based work. We have experience working as students, organizers, facilitators, teachers, etc. in diverse spaces, like prisons, schools, within labor unions, community centers and autonomous community groups. These experiences helped us realize the essential need to connect, build and sustain youth empowerment efforts, across and within borders and through the arts. We learned that the process of excluding and marginalizing youth, began with the silencing of experiences, stories, and community histories, gearing us towards an oral history focus.
This shift to using a critical pedagogy within our working agenda, made a clearer link to building new relationships with culture beginning with youth.
For almost two year’s, we dedicated ourselves to researching, studying and connecting with other youth and cultural workers all over the US and Latin America, to create an innovative, sustainable and transformative model of youth work.
In 2012, after visiting the island twice and building with activists and community members, Proyecto Algarabía began its first full program in the Dominican Republic. Together with dedicated community members, innovative strategies, passion for transformative knowledge and high learning outcomes Proyecto Algarabía has had a successful turnout and positive feedback in every community.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
We are 6 months into the program here in the Dominican Republic. We continue to facilitate workshops, are in the process of implementing traveling cultural programs and beginning the editorial process to later print the youth anthology and distribute it through El Ramon, San Francisco & Madre Vieja.
We are also in the process of concreting our 2013 work agenda in Guatemala, Liberia, Cuba, California and Mexico.
OUR VISION & OPPORTUNITY
Oral history is our method to connect young people to each other around the world. When we show movies, read poetry or reenact theatrical scenes from a part of the world that may seem foreign to someone from San Cristobal, DR- It is easier to connect and discuss the local issues through their similarities between the realities presented in the workshop- even when they are in completely different realities, told through the eyes of a Brazilian hip hop head, a Filipino farmers’ son, or even a Dominican child from the 50’s.
Oral history is the way we can facilitate youth empowerment from their core- their own lives, realities and surroundings. By changing our gaze or perspective, the way we understand and read history, we believe we can transform the way we will continue to live and write it in the future.
Our vision is to implement 6-month programs in different communities, around Latin America, the Caribbean and within their Diaspora in the world. In every location, we build collaborative relationships with local leaders, teachers, activists and students, in order to
- create localized curriculum for youth participating in ALP,
- train interested youth and young adults in facilitating a sustainable program
- publish documented oral history, and
- link the work produced in other locations to the current place in order to build youth dialogues across borders.
The process of documenting live oral histories builds momentum and stores knowledge that like a book, does not change over time, but exists as a reference.
Instead of universalizing local cultures, Proyecto Algarabía’s program works to document localized knowledge, ideas, and reflection, to then connect these narratives to others around the region in an effort to build youth networks and power beyond borders.
This is our opportunity to contribute to this historical moment in empowering youth movement, expanding from local communities across borders. It is our opportunity to transform the way education and history are used to transform community empowerment. This is your opportunity to take part in our movement.
Your support goes a long way…here is what it does:
- In order to finish the DR program we still need to fund several aspects, such as general operational costs ($500), the traveling film forum series ($200), final workshop expenses ($200) and the publication and distribution of 1000 anthologies in each community ($1,800).
- With the DR program coming to a close, we are excited to kick start 2013 with programs in Guatemala and Mexico. While we will be using creative and diverse ways to fund these programs, we need to have a starting pot to support the initial planning. $1000 of the funds raised in this campaign will go directly towards the 2013 programs.
- We are also responsible for about $300 in fees for using PayPal and IndieGoGo!
Other Ways You Can Help
Our grassroots fundraising effort is powered by YOU, and here are other ways you can help aside from donating:
· Facebook: Use the power of social networking to help us spread the word about Proyecto Algarabía. Post the link to this page on your wall and on your status, and post it on friends’ walls, too!
· Join Our Mailing List: Stay up to date with upcoming projects, curriculum, photos and video.!
· Email: Hit up your contact list with an email about Proyecto Algarabía and why you chose to donate. Make sure to include the link to this page, and let your contacts know to forward it along to their networks as well.
· Word of Mouth: One of the most powerful drivers of social action is through face-to-face dialogue. Start a conversation with your friends, family, and co-workers about what we’re up to with Proyecto Algarabía! Then, you can direct them to this website, and they can pass with word on to others.
· Call: If you can’t talk to your friends and family in person, give them a ring: they’d love to hear from you, and while you’re catching up you can let them know about Proyecto Algarabía and how to support us.
Team on This Campaign:
Solymar Solá Negrón