2008. LaHostiaFineArts (LHFA). EXPLORANDO USERA (theoretical data)

A tourism office for Usera in Madrid
A more open Madrid is possible



 The district of Usera was created in the last restructuring of the 28th of March 1987. Currently it’s a social framework where three distinguishable cultures coexist, Chinese, Latin and Spanish in a complex adjustment process.

The district is limited by the Praga bridge, Paseo de Santa María de la Cabeza, Fernández Ladreda square and highway 401 (Madrid-Ciudad Real). In this district you find lots of actions by the Neighbourhood Redesigning Programme, finished in 1989 and several residential developments. Currently we are experiencing an opening of Usera towards the city centre (works to burry the M30, cultural activation in the Legazpi area, expanding line 3 until Villaverde).

Its location as natural projection of the artistic axis Plaza de Castilla – Legazpi and its bordering situation limited by the river and, until not long ago, by the M30, highway 401 and the exit towards Toledo road, turn this district into an interesting place for artistic exploration.

In 2004, LHFA presented Madrid Abierto a project entitled Stories of Madrid 2nd part which received an honourable mention of the jury. In that project we intended to create an imaginary, local and sentimental geography full of historic, political and cultural references. When playing the first sequence of the movie Stories of Madrid, you could see a mobile installation – tableau mouvant – of social condemnation and reinterpretation of history and national culture. A double-decker bus would continuously drive around the Cibeles square informing, as if it were a tourist guide, about the political and historical implications of the area. In the convergence of local colour and international tourism appear spaces of ideological nature and the vacuous poses of political, entrepreneurialand cultural leaders are unveiled. It was, therefore, an ironic action that, while travelling around the “typical” Madrid, reflected on the veiled reality behind the local colour of the municipal policy.

Now, in 2007, we present our project, Exploring Usera, to Madrid Abierto once again, focussing again on the strategies that underlie the majority of cultural initiatives that are presented for high positions. We leave the showcase of the Plaza de Castilla – Legazpi axis, within which Madrid Abierto takes place, to go and explore the artistic and tourist possibilities of the district of Usera.

For Exploring Usera we took advantage of the district’s fiestas that were taking place in the first two weeks of September, to do some field work that will be developed and documented during the next semester. The goals are clear: open Madrid up creating new fluxes of information.










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