They present the mural Ongi etorria in San Martin

This is the mural with more participants to date: 425 students, public school teachers, 25 senior citizens from the residence, 20 volunteers and another 30 from different groups such as the Elkargune de Infancia or IRSE Araba.

It incorporates a QR code and you can listen to 100 songs “composed or performed by musicians from Araba”. The list was created by Sergio Torres, a professor at KZ Gunea in collaboration with different artists linked to the music of the province.

GASTEIZ San Martin Ikastetxea inaugurated its new face. A mural of 288 square metres that changed the face of Adriano VI Street. Hundreds of cars that travel daily and the already deteriorated red brick that has shone over the years and has given way to a new mural that hundreds of participants have coloured.  It was held in San Martin: with a massive party with a lunch, corals, chocolate and even blues rhythms.

A month and a half ago Irantzu Lekue and the ARTgia team started “in situ” with the project. Through sessions with the participation of Ciúana in which not only the school community participated but also other cultural and social collectives from the neighbourhood. The idea was to create a mural that would “have the purpose of opening the windows to a new diverse society,” explains Irantzu Lekue. It represents an embrace between a breast and a child. “It was the way of relating the Ajuria residence and the school, to create an intergenerational prism, to put older people with children working together from the beginning,” she says.

Different perspectives are represented within each of the mural’s motifs. Inside the window in the Paseo de Los Arquillos, with children, young and old; a tribute to the place where Master Iradier, creator of La Paloma had lived. Within the child’s body a current view of the Las Conchas park is represented. Within the breast … two perspectives: that of Calle Adriano VI street,  and another of the old factories previously located in the area “to relate the past to the present, to rediscover the roots.” Other elements included in the perspective of the breast are musical notes, the ducks from the nearby park and the Abendaño river that crosses the neighbourhood and the old brewery.

The first job was to repair the huge wall; cover the holes, seal them to ensure proper maintenance of the mural … In total the mural covers 288 square meters. More space than expected but necessary for the number of people who wanted to participate. It would be wrong to leave anyone out as they were so willing to work,” they explain. They therefore decided to expand it and include a tribute to the seven clubs of Araba.

Musical mural: 100 songs by Araba

The Welcome – the Ongi etorria mural is about receiving people who arrive “welcoming them, with tenderness, “she explained. “The mural format is perfect for this, since it has the capacity to overcome the linguistic barriers that may arise due to lack of knowledge of the language”.

“That’s why we wanted to incorporate sound,” she explains. With the challenge of not annoying the neighbours and without a heavy economic burden. “Music has been and is a hallmark of the city. From the traditional songs that we can still hear at popular festivals, to the current Azkena Rock Festival or the Jazz Festival. From Iradier to Donnay but also Potato reggae group to festivals with Joselu Anayak or Hertzainak,” she explained.

Sergio Torres, a professor at KZ Gunea, created the technical part and different meetings were held with people linked to music such as Maite Gomez, Carmen Martinez Guerra, Josune Barandiaran or Angel Alday. “In total, 100 songs that were created in Araba or are performed by groups from Alava to make up the list.” To access this list, you just read the QR code and the user can access directly, “

United Nations

Irantzu Lekue explained that the whole process is being developed using the experience “and level of conceptualization” acquired in Geneva, during her visit to the United Nations headquarters with Unesco Etxea. There were six Basque artists accompanied by the director of the centre. “We have been working for a long time on social transformation together with different cultural and educational agents, focusing on creating a new cultural ecosystem that values art for art and also using it as a vehicle, as a tool,” she explains. The visit to Geneva was a qualitative leap, a huge step forward in the definition of many projects, including that of murals for social transformation.” In San Martin we  opted for the transformation: creating ties between communities, concentrating on living in more beautiful places and giving opportunities to people who have gone through complicated moments, ”she said, it would be good to mention  Lekue’s commitment to hiring people who find themselves in delicate situations.

“This is the model we  applied in San Martin, reinforcing the ties between the community and demonstrating that this model can be applied in cities like Vitoria – Gasteiz, in small towns like Ubide – of just 170 inhabitants – or larger towns such as Derio, ”he says.

As she explains, “when we approach creative experiences our outlook changes and that influences how we look at the world; if we are more or less empathetic; if we are willing to understand other realities … “Lekue also points out that” to the extent that a person learns things, he/she also transmits them to third parties”.