“Reflect on the value of the heritage that the Indians created in the Galician town of Betanzos”

Between the end of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century, some Indians created El Pasatiempo in Betanzos (A Coruña), an encyclopedic park, in addition to the People's House, the Laundry, the Schools, the Shelter and an Asylum. From that social commitment of the emigrants there remains a legacy that tells us about heritage, learning, leisure, Freemasonry or philanthropy, but also about those other current migrations, in which Galicia is also a welcoming place. With this concomitance we want to pay tribute to these acts of social justice through philanthropy, think about the return and the commitment to improving well-being and at the same time question how we have not been able to maintain in an optimal state a legacy that speaks of us and us, and that constantly dialogues with the contemporary.

Galicia is a quintessential region of emigration. In fact, the Galician anthem and flag debuted in Havana in 1907, and in 2015 more than 168.000 Galicians lived in Argentina (which is why Buenos Aires has always been considered Galicia’s fifth province). This exodus, which began in the mid-19th century, has shaped lives, imaginaries, and even the territory itself. Among the manifestations of emigration are the poetics of return that emerged with the indianos through their philanthropic works scattered throughout Galicia.

In the late 19th century, these returned emigrants donated part of their earnings to building schools that still survive today: an estimated 250 schools and educational centers were created in that period. This philanthropic spirit was exemplified by the García Naveira brothers, who became important benefactors when they returned to Betanzos from Argentina, creating an "encyclopedic park" and several other public works.

Pasatiempo park is one of the emblematic constructions of Galician emigration, and this is reflected in its iconography. The park, which now covers 10.000 square meters (of the original 70.000 square meter grounds), includes the city's iconic family tree, sculptures such as the statue of Charity, the Retiro pond, and a model of the Mosque of Mohamed Ali in Cairo, as well as grottos and caves that wind through this initiation park.

The values, beliefs, and stories that emerge in the park have connections to our contemporary world. Rather than a historical reading, we are interested in a resignification that reads the present through memory. To consider this story and the eventual artistic production, the Concomitancia begins with an initial participatory research-action exercise that will explore the community's desires regarding the production of an artwork.

The entire mediation process will be based on an open call for participation through constant listening and attention. A series of activities will be carried out to generate an ecosystem from which to weave together this project, which will also be an open discussion forum on the Pasatiempo park, philanthropy and migrations.

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