Contorno Urbano Foundation recently put an open call to artists to be part of the full remodelling of the Plaza de la Salut, an important square for the history of the city, Sant Feliu de Llobregat. The mural needed to represent the neighbours’ fight 30 years ago to have this square created instead of a gas station.
300 artists applied to the open call launched by the City Council of Sant Feliu, Kaligrafics and Contorno Urbano and the winner was Escif.
Escif’s mural “LA PLAZA ES NUESTRA/The square is ours” decided to transfer the historic memory, present time and hopes of a town that, 40 years ago and under Franco’s regime, started a fight to have a decent and worthy neighbourhood, to gain ownership of their square.
“In May of 1977, the residents of the neighbourhood of La Salud managed to stop the construction of a gas station. The walls tell that it was one dawn, while the city was still sleeping, that some brave men decided to push the concrete mixer into the hole where they were going to build foundations. They covered the hole with dirt and planted a tree. Legend tells that if a tree is planted in a busy lot, nobody will be able to remove it. And that is how they grounded the square that still remains today theirs. Of the neighbours of Sant Feliu.” Escif
The mural is full of details and anecdotes, such as “La plaza es mía/The square is mine”, “Yo-Tu/Me-You”, “Fue él/It was him”, “DEP hormigonera/RIP concrete mixer “(an ironic reminder of the time when the neighbours threw the concrete mixer into a hole, where it still remains buried), “No callarem/We won’t remain silent”.
The wall tells, narrates, and remembers many lives and stories that go back to 40 years ago, many conversations in this square conquered by the neighbours, many yearnings and dreams, many fights that are yet to come! The square is the beating heart of the community.
“La pared es nuestra/The Wall is Ours” is a retaining wall that rescues the voices of those who are gone, that keeps the voice of those who remain, and that suggests the voice of those who are yet to come. An inclusive wall made by and for the neighbours. A wall that can be heard, that contains the sounds of the neighbourhood, of its history, and of its inhabitants. A wall that can be read, and that has as many readings as visitors who come to contemplate it.” Escif
Photo Credit Clara Antón