Meet Zorro + Conejo art and design laboratory for children.
The Woman Post | Nibeth Adriana Duarte Camacho
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Black holes, cameras, X-rays, and translucent materials take over the park when Zorro+Conejo or John Vela and Alejandra Forero appear to promote the active participation of children in itinerant spaces, making their voices, actions, and ways of expressing themselves visible through the drawing.
Zorro+Conejo tends to make children visible in public spaces and their expressive language as drawing is the vehicle that these artists use to carry it out.
Through participatory experiences, they design devices and objects that contain questions for the children to solve, reformulate, and create images. Like The storytelling machine, an artifact made of cardboard with which children can create a tremendous collective story by taking up stories that others star.
John and Alejandra are interested in children being able to generate other graphic processes, in contrast to the art taught in their school or the images that all-time their watch on television.
Children find their own identity, without resorting to visual or drawing stereotypes where for example the house ends up being a square with a triangular roof.
The idea is that they explored further and find the dream house in their imagination, combining their interest in discovering the world, expressing it, and signifying it.
When kids draw or generate plastic or graphic actions in the laboratory, their poetics and the story behind each drawing are recognized firstly for themselves, secondly by their parents, and thirty by the community. It is a time when adults and other participants appreciate the art made by children in the streets. They are the protagonists, so this action is a recognition of diverse childhoods and a promotion of care and attention.
“We are interested in seeing children on the streets with their family, friends, and companions, generating a bond where the situations that are fostered are legitimate and not mediated by adults. We want everything that happens in public spaces to be authentic, theirs, and not mediated by a proposed or imposed childhood” Said John Vela
Both Alejandra and John have experience working in unconventional spaces for children from literature and art focused on early childhood. They are permeated by everything that happens in this field: from the legal, cultural, and artistic offer, as well as the entire pedagogical environment, the result of experiences with teachers. “If a child doesn't have adults by his side who are interested and willing to transform his environment, nothing will happen. That is why we are interested in our meetings being visually impressive and generating curiosity in the passers-by who come to the laboratory“.
In the future, Zorro+Conejo seek to generate products with the participatory work they carry out with the children. So that what they do in the laboratory, becomes an editorial production or publication that circulates the city so that adults and the whole world can see, read and feel what the children think.
In addition, these two creatives want to form a network of groups, independent and alternative groups around childhood. The idea they have is to create a fair or meeting space for all these self-management projects so that together they can offer other opportunities to the children in addition to the formal ones.
“We want to fill this city with little places where people care about children. Making children participate is the most anarchist thing that exists, dreaming at this time is an act of rebellion, a political action carried out by children who always invite us to create and transform. We want free children, with their voice”. Say, Alejandra Forero.