Walls of Hope / School of Art and Open Studio in Perquin, El Salvador

The Mur de l’Espoir, Fribourg is completed. (Sept. 29 2013)

The Mur de l’Espoir, Fribourg is completed. (Sept. 29 2013)

Yesterday night I could not go to sleep out of happiness. What a blessing to be able to suffer insomnia out of joy instead of caused by anguish.

The sense of celebration that we all shared during the vernisage was palpable . The mural is beautiful, the personal and communal histories are potent, tragic, poetic and, ultimately, impacted by a tenacious hope.

The Salvadoran artists and I, are deeply movd by this mural project. We are humbled and thankful for the invitation to share the strategies that we have developed in the School of Art in Perquin in this new home of Fribourg.

Despite the starting challenges and the many adaptations we had to find solutions for during the first day, the mural process was a success in all ways possible. One of the ways in which I measure its success is by remembering that the first day, the participants were mostly quiet and shy, many have expressed that they did not want to be photographed and several of them made it clear that they did not want to speak publicly.

However, at the moment of the opening of the mural, everyone did speak sharing with the public their contribution on the mural with eloquence and a poetic language of beauty and pain. They all wanted to be photographed and they took many photographs themselves, always laughing, hugging one another, thanking one another for this wonderful experience.

Speaking with Father Jean Baptiste, the director of the Afrika House where the mural was born, he told me that he saw the mural process as a Resurrection. It is almost impossible to welcome this concept for its monumental implication. Yet, I humbly embraced this thought observing the evidence of this deep transformation among all of us which happened in three days, as the three days that took Christ to transit from death to eternal life.

What, one wonders, could have caused this Resurrection?

The answer, if any, may be quite simple. Each of the participant felt that they could tell their stories in an environment of trust and 
support. They were willing and able to share their most personal tragedies and their commitment to life and joy. They were able and capable to translate this in images that assembled one another as in a tapestry of life.Despite the fact that we were speaking at least five different languages at once, we communicated in the most powerful language of all: to WANT to communicate with one another. And we did communicate, we laughed, we loved.

 

This is a wonderful message that we may carry with us from now on.

I want to thank each and all the participants for their contribution, their personal and communal histories and for their remarkable artistry which made possible the creation of this mural.

In this message, I include Terrel and Briggitte , hoping that you will be able to translate and disseminate this message among the participants.

I want to thank Briggitte very dearly. She was a Guardian Angel through out the three days of work. I trust that we will remain friends from ever.

I want to thank Wolfgang, who, up to the mast minute was with us trying to make our work easier and more enjoyable. This project would have not been so successful or enjoyable without his participation.

I want to thank Marc and on his behalf, Amnesty International, for this invitation to come to Fribourg to create a new Mur de l’Espoir. Yesterday, towards the end of the evening, I learned that the mural has been requested to travel and be displayed in several sights. This is fantastic! I dearly trust that the participants will accompany the mural, be Ambassadors of this project and share with many new audiences what this mural means and who made it.

Terrel: as representative of the participants in this message, I want to thank you and everyone else for entrusting us with your memories, ideas and hopes. We are hugely moved by every one’s beauty of heart. We will remain hopeful that we shall meet again, and, who knows? we may meet to paint another mural!

On behalf of the four of us, Thank you and Until very soon!

With hugs,

Dina, Verenice, Rosita del Carmen and Claudia

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