The school and kindergarten Manuel Núñez de Arenas is a public school in the neighborhood of Pozo de el Tío Raimundo, Madrid.
Next to the school is the local football field, which use and opening hours are restricted.
The best way to access the football field is to jump the school fence, which deteriorates the fence and damages the school equipment.
Due to what is called the broken window theory, the damage that keeps on happening on the fence, in the courtyard and in the school´s equipment, changes the dynamic, reaching an strange situation that makes some neighbors to think that this area of the school is abandonded and run-down.
Facing this situation, the board and the parent´s comitee wondered about the best way to solve this problem.
- To strength the fence?
- To mediate with the youngsters?
On the way, a group of neighbors started to work to make the space of the school more dinamic after the school´s timetable, through a project of cultural management that was also a means of self-employement and a way to mitigate the situation and provide an array of activities to the youngster of the community, which was long necessary and demanded.
By the end of 2015, with the help of Madrid City Council, opens the possibilty of carrying out an intervention that tackles this problem from an spatial intervention.
Is there any fence that can´t be jumped?, we wondered during our first meetings carried out with the school community, as we studied pictures of fences built along borders all over the world.
We were not for it, and anyway to build a border that isolates a place doesn´t solve the problem, which in this case is the lack of spaces and activites for the youth of El Pozo.
If it´s not possible to avoid someone jumping over a fence, maybe we can turn the act of crossing the limit to change the attitude of the one who does it.
With this idea in mind we proposed the school to invest in the fence through an intervention on it.
We suggested the students of Manuel Núñez to do portraits of their classmates. Boys and girls between 4 y 12 years old.
It was very interesting to obsere the evolution in the hability of a perso to represent another human being and the perception that we have of a body and a face. Thus, we ended up with a gallery of more than 100 portraits: heads that grew limbs, faces in which the hairstyles and ornaments stand out, disproporcionate figures, frontal and side images…
The budget available only allowed to select 24 portraits that could represent the variety of the school regarding gender, age, and drawing style.
Those 24 portraits were transferred to a metal plank and painted by the students and Basurama team, together with the strech of the fence selected to do the intervention, that went from red to green.
Those protraits are looking towards the neighborhood and tell stories about a complex reality that needs to be worked on the long run, in and out of the limits of the school. We want to think that the youngster are looking for a little time of leisure in the courtyard and the football field, now they are able to understand better the value that has the space that are accesing.