Orientation trips
The Mondriaan Fund organises orientation trips for visual artists and mediators to Asia, Latin America and Africa since 2004. The trips are aimed at exchange and cooperation between visual art professionals.

Sunday morning we gather for a walk through Medellín. Gilda Wolf (connected to the Universidad Nacional de Colombia), accompanied by Tony Evanko (director of Casas Tres Patios), told us all we want to know about Medellín’s history and its recent developments.

Medellin is Colombia’s second largest city and the capital of the department Antioquia. Gilda explains that in the first half of the 20th century roughly 70% of the people in Antioquia lived on the countryside, working in gold mines, on coffee plantations and as famers mainly. With the development of Medellin’s famous textile industry however, the need for workers started to grow. In order to provide the industry with enough employees, a violent situation was created on the countryside. We are surprised to hear that even the church was involved in this process, together with the factory owners.

Escaping the dangerous situation, many families moved to the relatively safe city, invading lots in the periphery, and Medellín’s population soon started to grow. Currently almost 2,5 million people live in the city. As in many Latin American cities, a majority lives in the poorer outskirts. Not so long ago Medellín was the most dangerous city on earth. Today it excels in increasing the mobility of citizens in poor neighborhoods.

Rossella Biscotti & Madelon van Schie