COVID-19 impact on our work
Colectivo Moriviví's practice is mainly public art and street art. During the early development of the pandemic, our work almost came to a halt. Many projects were indefinitely postponed and others canceled, but we quickly questioned our work dynamics and made efforts to channel our practice to areas of need like self-care and art as therapy.
As we all have felt and faced, this year has been very challenging. For our collective, the greatest challenge was to keep on producing community-led-arts, and exploring how that would look like with physical distancing.
Actions in response
We quickly understood that quarantine had a strong impact on the mental health of our community. As a response, we moved to offer Online Art Workshops. These workshops have been designed to be therapeutic and open to everybody, with no art experience necessary. Through art and creative techniques, we offer a space to clear our minds and channel our feelings (you can access them below).
From another perspective, the many consequences of the pandemic, and 2020 being an election year put a lot of scrutiny over our government. There where many corruption accusations and ongoing investigations, but unfortunately nobody has been prosecuted. Our political atmosphere has been tense and agitated for many years now because Puerto Rico cannot take much more abuse and exploitation. We react to this through art. That is why we've also produced a series of illustrations protesting our government, and advocating for collective action and solidarity.
We also had the chance to produce two murals for our community: "El distanciamiento es físico, no social" and "Disección de la memoria". Amidst such a complicated atmosphere, we celebrate that. Although we had this small victory, we were still very conscious that we couldn't produce art with our community the way that we used to. This is why we set out to explore new ways to create community-led-arts: to conceptualize in a social distancing setting.
We came up with an initiative named "Tallereo Communitario" which roughly translates to 'Community Worshopping". Participants registered online for a series of workshops focused on elaborating ideas that we could translate visually. We wanted to find ways to make possible the community conceptualization phase of our work while physically distancing. A phase which we believe is one of the most important components of our practice,
In these workshops, we managed to discuss and bring forth two themes/ideas that Moriviví will draw from to produce some public artwork. As a first and immediate response, we translated the ideas into digital illustrations that were launched through social media and online platforms during February and March 2021. First, we launched: "Sembremos: Homenaje a las Huertas Comunitarias" (Homage to Community Gardens). Secondly, we launched: "Trenzadas: Una cadena de Saberes y Vivencias" (Braided: A chain of wisdom & experiences).
Besides these concrete projects, we've also kept collaborating with fellow collectives, organizations, and groups to support activism, the arts, and other social projects in different ways. If you're curious about those collabs feel free to reach us through email!