Petare, Venezuela

22

Katy chose the word “Resiliencia” (=”resilience”).
During the past month, I’ve been staying at her house with my friend/assistant Dudu.

A year and a half ago, I started looking for contacts in Caracas because I wanted to know more about the situation there and the possibility of an episode of “Share The Word Project“. Somehow we got in touch and during a whole year she sent me messages telling me I can stay at her place and paint in her neighbourhood. I usually invite myself into slums, but this time I thought I’d accept the invitation. Smart move.

Katy is an absolute exemple for her community but also for Venezuela in general. In a slum full of litteraly hungry people, with drug trafficking and political polarisation, she managed to unite people with brooms. She started by sweeping the streets to clear the rubbish that the government no longer collects, and got people to join. She then started to think that art could be the one thing that would unite everyone in her neighbourhood. This is why she wanted me to come over, and why she’s getting other local artists like Dagor to paint on her streets.

As a human being, Katy is an inspiration. She focuses on those little positive things amidst a brutal crisis. She spends her days sweeping the streets, painting murals, solving day-to-day problems in the slum, taking the slum kids out to art galleries, helping those who can’t eat, taking care of her own family, giving talks at events… And all this while surviving in a house without water and with regular power cuts, and of course, very little money.

I could have easily thought that Venezuela would be totally fucked. But I met Katy. A Venezuelan incarnation of resilience.

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