Monday, 14 September 2009
PABLO JOGGING TOUR MEXICO CITY
Pablo's Jogging Tour (short version for youtube)
produced by Perros Negros for Localismos
Historic Center, Mexico City
Mexico City's Historic Centre (known as El Centro) was once the centre of urban, social and economical life of the city and the site where the Spanish conquerors founded their capital over the Aztec city of México-Tenochtitlan. The Centre had been suffering continuous deterioration since the early XX century. Today, the Fundación del Centro Historico, is determined to change El Centro's fate. With an initial investment in 2004 of over $300 million U.S. dollars and a long-term regeneration plan, the Fundación has bought 70 buildings in El Centro converting them into housing units in order to start the centre's gentrification. In turn, the City's government has also invested in urban infrastructure, introduced a new police force, installed high security closed circuit cameras, and been displacing and relocating the street sellers. Fundación del Centro Historico was also one of the main sponsors of Localismos, a residential workshop in which a group of 20 artists, worked for a month in the centre of Mexico City producing works in dialogue with the context. The presence of the artists within Localismos was seen as an asset by the Fundacion, who understood that contemporary art is one of the determinant factors that ensure an areas gentrification. Pablos Jogging Tour visits moments of resistance to Mexico Citys Historic Centres gentrification, including street sellers occupying the streets as a way of economic survival, families in the risk of eviction and buildings appropriated by those who lost their houses during the earthquake of 1985 (and whose housing situation still hadn't been solved). The parcourse of Jogging Tour is the location for the battle for the use of private and public space in the City's centre. It is in El Centro where historical identity is imposed by the elite and where this identity is challenged by the occupation of space by those in less privileged positions. While the elite sees and defends the Centre as a place where it can access its past history, for the lower classes the Centre is the place that provides immediate access to the commodities, lifestyle and information of late capitalist modernity in the form of pirate Cds, DVDs of recent Hollywood hits, and clothing and accessories of fake brands like Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap and Louis Vuitton.