Queremos Sonreír by Mucho — BP&O
Words from Richard Baird
Queremos Sonreír – Activar la Cultura Local (We want to smile – activation of the local culture) brings together the voices of a large number of cultural actors – from the citizen cCollectors and activists for artists and managers of cultural programs who develop measures that stimulate local culture, strengthen citizens, develop learning processes and promote critical thinking. Through these voices, the book examines questions about citizen participation and cultural practices, cultural activation and alternative ways of developing and accessing cultural capital.
The book is the result of a long research process led by Trànsit Projectes, who worked with Mucho to design the material shape of the project. Mucho worked on concept, design and art direction with the topics of cultural participation and visibility as central issues. These manifest themselves in a striking use of color and writing and a book cover that unfolds the provocative visual language of channeled and protest banners with the exclamation, queremos sonreír, or we want to smile.
The need to localize and theorize cultural practices – with the intention of promoting cultural creation in certain areas of Spain – was revealed by a series of questionnaires and triggered a new research program (documented in Queremos Sonreír and carried out by Trànsit Projectes). These questionnaires connected a large number of different groups, organizations and cultural managers, who together had extensive experience in basic cultural work and knowledge of reviving culture in different areas using different techniques.
“On May 8, 2018, a group of residents of the Saint-Barthélémy neighborhood in Marseille gathered in front of a McDonald’s store. The protest was not crying, as you can imagine, against the imperialist model of mass consumption or the nutritional imbalance of fast food. People were brought together by the closure of the restaurant and the orphanage where the dismantling leaves the neighborhood. Because without realizing it, the residents of the district had made the few meters from the premises to the social and cultural center of the region; a meeting point in a ghetto that is neglected by local authorities.
If the eccentricity of the anecdote is already rethinking many of the rules that we usually associate with defining these characteristics, the story of the unusual protest is also an invitation to question contemporary ideas about cultural management. Would a group of neighbors demonstrate for one of our projects? " The way to solve these questions is guided by the voices of a dozen cultural agents, which are summarized on the pages of Queremos Sonreír.
Both the collectivization and dissemination of cultural insights as well as the activation of culture are of central importance for the design of the book, from the listing of the texts and participants on the cover to the different relationships between text blocks and the structuring of information (sometimes pragmatic ). other times with a subtext) to emphasize the visual appeal and provocative properties of oversized, cropped type and a bright, warm neon shade. The protest banner as a dust jacket, the cut-off type a provocation in order to unfold it, is a good idea, since the book has an intellectual and research-based basis at the highest level, but this happens immediately and spontaneously and at the frequently occurring participation and action Base. More works from Mucho on BP & O.
Design: Mucho. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts: TBC.
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