Proyectos Ultravioleta, Embajada & HFFA NY present: Brigada Puerta de Tierra
Brigada Puerta de Tierra (BPDT) is a grassroots artist collective founded in 2015 by Luis Agosto-Leduc, Jesús “Bubu” Negrón and José Vélez Camacho, which recently won the 2017 Visible Award.
Puerta de Tierra (PDT) is a neighborhood founded in the 17th century, located in the periphery of the historic urban centre of Old San Juan, in Puerto Rico’s capital. PDT has a strategic and historical value in Puerto Rico. Its most important resource is its own people who, for centuries, have struggled and survived adversity and injustice. Today there is blight, noticeable urban decay, an aging population, lack of ownership, and a disenfranchised young working class that fights to stay in their community despite an inequitable real estate market, which forces them either to leave or to remain in an isolated, poor, unsafe, and deteriorated urban ghetto. BPDT organizes horizontally and operates through four key concepts: self-management, consciousness-raising, strategic planning and collective decision-making. Additionally, BPDT actively collaborates with children and young community members, centering its activities on the preservation and well-being of their neighborhood, its history, and its people.
BPDT uses art as a tool to challenge top-down standard urban development practices. For the past two years BPDT has succeeded in an outreach community campaign with the slogan ‘AQUÍ VIVE GENTE’ (‘PEOPLE LIVE HERE’), engaging residents and raising awareness on the role that youth empowerment can play in flourishing a sustainable and inclusive community-centered development. This campaign frames their development theory and creative problem-solving approaches. As a result, BPDT has successfully brought the San Juan Municipality to negotiate with the PDT community for the acquisition of two abandoned buildings to be developed into community-driven Social Centres.
Their project for NADA NY 2018 is two-pronged: on the one hand, the booth will serve as an information center on the project itself for visitors of the fair. On the other, the booth has numerous works for sale that have been generously gifted by Allora & Calzadilla, Emilia Azcárate, Carolina Caycedo, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Jorge González, Mercedes Elena González, Akira Ikezoe, José Lerma, and Chemi Rosado Seijo.
All profits BPDT’s presentation in NADA NY will be directed towards the purchase of a plot of land in PDT, in which to establish the future headquarters of the Brigade.