Wake up Medellín!

· Conflict, Culture, Society, Violence

“¡Medellín, despierta!” (Wake up, Medellín) is one of the cultural and artistic programs of the municipality for the most marginalized barrios of the city. Last 19th April the Medellín nightlife went up the comunas (districts) to “give life to the night” with musicians, dances, performances and films.

Barrio Granizal in the 1rst District (Comuna 1) was one of the places where art took over the night and it was especially assisted by children who enjoyed circus and teenagers playing tennis and chess.

The stage of the barrio was the center for a break dance group with the active participation of a public composed especially by young people.

Samuel García, 35, a resident in Barrio Granizal, considered one of the most violent areas of Medellín, said:

“Estos espacios sirven para mostrarle a la gente que se puede salir, que esto está muy bueno, que el barrio está tranquilo, que ya no hay violencia”.

These activities help to demonstrate to the people that it is possible to go out, that this is good, that the barrio is in peace, that there is not violence.

In other poor district of the city, the 3rd Comuna, in the San Blas Barrio, the figure was the local talent of its inhabitants. “El Chinchorro” is the name of a traditional musical group (“chirimía”) of the José Roberto Vásquez Educational Institution of Barrio El Pomar. It became one of the most celebrated participants of the night and made that children, young people and adults danced in the streets of the barrio.

Teacher Angeliza Restrepo of the educational institute and the director of the young musicians, said:

“Eventos como estos son importantes porque se promueve el talento local. Por ejemplo en nuestro caso, se trata de un grupo de jóvenes con el que hemos venido adelantando un proceso de formación en la Institución Educativa, incentivando en ellos el arte, que es lo que les gusta”.

Events like these ones are important because they promote the local talent. For example, in our case, it is a group of young people that we have been doing a process of formation in our Educational Institute, motivating in them the art, that is what they like.”

Moravia, another barrio that was traditionally hold as marginalized and dangerous, was invaded by Tango (the Argentinian genre of dance that settled in Medellín since the 1920s), table tennis, street games and other activities in its already well known Cultural Center. Handcraft artisans had also their space in the barrio with paintings and other things to show their talent.

The touristic “Parque de los Deseos” (The Wishes Square) located in the 4th District (Comuna 4), was represented by “Azul Ilusión” (Blue Illusion), a musical group made by children with “especial capacities” according with Pilar Pérez, its director. What is special in the children is that some of them have the Down Syndrome and some of them are blind.

From visitors

Manuel Hormechea from Barranquilla was visiting Medellín during the events. About Blue Illusion, the group of the special children he said:

“Es algo muy lindo que en una ciudad como Medellín se promueva y apoye el talento de niños como estos, que a pesar de sus limitaciones le meten corazón a lo que hacen”.

It is beautiful that in a city like Medellín is it promoted and help the talent of children like these ones, even their limits. They show commitment of what they do.”

In other places

The prestigious San Pedro Cemetery Museum, the Explore Square and the Spain Cultural Library participated of “Wake up, Medellín” with cultural programs as well and opened their doors until the night.

The events were organized by the Government Secretary with its program “Medellín, Wake Up for the Life”, the Secretary of Citizen Culture, the INDER, the Public Services Enterprises Fundation, the Explore Square, the Wishes Square, the Spain Cultural Library, the San Pedro Cemetery Museum, the Moravia Cultural Center, colleges, schools, communitarian committees and others.

Source: Alcaldía de Medellín

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