When we were in the streets

With everything that is happening to us, I’ve rather neglected this site recently, writing elsewhere about community opera and how the cultural sector is coping with suspension of its work. But community art remains at the heart of my concerns and we all need some inspiration. Eva Garcia has made brave, imaginative community art in Barcelona for many years; she’s also an old friend. Three years ago she started a new organisation, ComuArt, that has co-created work, often performances, with different groups in the city. In 2018 Eva, and the costume designer PEDRA company, worked with a group of women in the neighbourhood of Trinitat Vella to create and produce their own stage costumes for La Cavalcada de Reis, the parade of the kings, that takes place each year on 5 January, the night of the Epiphany. The women researched their ideas and learned the skills – from needlework to 3D printing – needed to manufacture their costumes. These photographs, by Lucia Herrero, capture the beauty and originality of their work, and their pride in their achievement. It may be hard now to imagine our streets filled with people, colour and joy, but they will be again and until they are, let’s remember what it means.