La Chulapa – Gerada in Madrid

A genuine tribute from Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada to the local associationist movement of the San Isidro neighborhood in Carabanchel (Madrid)

Some days ago, the neighbors of the historical Tercio y Terol Colony, located at the San Isidro neighborhood of the Carabanchel district in Madrid, have got one more big reason to feel proud of their achievements after years of legitimate fights and vindications in the streets.

An impressive ‘chulapa’ of contemplative look raises in the tower of the Ancient Water Tank at Amalarico street, 7th, just close to the Hogar Bar, the main meeting point for the families who live in the area. The ‘chulapa’ outfit is a typical custom dress from Madrid’s 19th century. Some women wear it even nowadays during the local San Isidro popular holidays.

The artist behind this piece is Jorge Rodriquez Gerada, who landed in the capital of Spain just after arriving from New York where he created the biggest mural ’til date in the Big Apple, a collaboration with Street art for Mankind and United Nations International Labour organisation, which is a colossal 2290 sqm warning about the consequences of human trafficking and child slavery. Once in Madrid, Gerada took his committed artwork to this peculiar setting composed of 640 single family homes built during the 1940s while the fascist political regimen of the dictator Francisco Franco was at its peak.

The project, driven by Carabanchel Creativa and curated by Esther Fernández Castelo in collaboration with the General Ricardos Neighbourhood association and the European institute of design is part of a series of cultural actions in order to activate several spaces in this area of the city which has been traditionally forgotten by the local authorities.

La Chulapa, whose creative process took place during one week when the San Isidro local holidays were happening, is a concerned example of public art, done in close collaboration with the neighbors of this historical area of Madrid and also thought as a welldeserved acknowledgement to their labour as a source of positive changes and as a unity generator of the district, running away of the gentrification ghost that threatens some of the downtown parts of the city.

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