Approaches To Community Building By Heart

Towards the beginning of the second cycle of the Non-Extractive Architecture residence Carolina Rubio and Yazmany Arboleda lead a community engagement workshop and shared the work of their practices. Carolina is an activist, immigration attorney, artist and the founder of Touching Land, a nonprofit organization that leverages studio art practices to engage with undocumented people in the United States whilst also educating them on their rights. Yazmany has undertaken public space projects around the world that center joy as a way of healing communities that have experienced conflict.

Carolina and Yazmany co-create their work with participants while proposing and creating critical interventions within existing social systems. Their use of mindfulness practice, kinesthetic and experiential arts, grounds the audience and brings their humanity to the forefront providing space for the act of imagining. Their work creates gestures that expose hierarchies and exchanges, inspire empowerment and catalyze social exchange. Because people and their relationships form the medium of their works – rather than a particular process of production – they will be doing a hands-on workshop and sharing stories from their practices that model why these practices are more necessary than ever. 

As part of the workshop Carolina and Yaz lead a series of sensorial exercises that allowed participants to access different memories and vulnerabilities. Among these was a unique exercise of playing with clay and answering the question, “What ideas could we model right now that would make Venice a better place?” Through this play based therapy many answers emerged including the importance of play space for children, accessibility for the differently abled, and better access to greenspace.

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