Blanca is a town of 6000 inhabitants in the southeast of Spain, set in a valley crossed by a river which creates very good conditions for the agriculture. As with many other towns in the interior of the Mediterranean line, Blanca is subjected to migratory movements and to a gradual ageing of its population, facing the difficulties to redefine itself in relation to new productive activities.
Until the 1990s the economy was mainly based in the agriculture and handmade carpet factories, that attracted some migrants from north Africa, especially from Algeria. Nowadays this economy has dramatically decreased and most of the factories were shut down. So with the increased unemployment the inhabitants not only suffer economical problems but also see these Arabic communities as a threat.
Since AADK Spain is based in Centro Negra, many other cultural initiatives have been developed in Blanca.
Our project addresses some of the main problems of the town:
- The aging of the population related to the lack of activities, possibilities and future that the town can offer.
- The problem of integrating the different communities.
- Accessibility to culture in the rural areas.
- Decrease of the old economy.
- A challenge of the project itself is to avoid the usual consequences of “revitalization”, which is gentrification.
Method and intention
We want to face all this challenges through an open lab where workshops, seminars, residencies and pilot interventions will take place with the objective of bringing new life to the area through cultural development.
We believe this district reflects the same problems than may other places in the world, we want to provoke a knowledge exchange between artists, academics, the locals and the immigrant experiences.
We understand that make this process into an open lab could not only recover the area but serve as a case for other initiatives like this.
We wish to recover an abandoned heritage, to create a space for integrating different communities, create access to contemporary culture in the rural area, and create new local economies with a global perspective.