La Borda, Buenos Aires
My very good friend Emma told me about La Borda which is a male psychiatric hospital and how she has come to be connected to the cultural centre within the grounds of the hospital. The originality of this hospital La Borda, Buenos Aires is so eye catching, bright and unique.
I really didn’t know what to expect to visit the centre but to go with an open mind, open heart and to photograph with grace, empathy and sensitivity.
To explain the history behind the centre the following are the press notes…
I’s a cultural center attached to the Borda Hospital Psychiatric Centre that was established as an art therapy center in 2009.
Pedro Cuevas is a porteno-based artist who initiated the project in conjunction with 2 doctors whom work full-time at Borda.
Most of the in-patients who attend are male, schizophrenic or are medicated for episodes of psychosis. Some have been living at Borda for up to 20 years.
The project is organic, open-ended, and non for profit. No art made on the premises can be sold, although donations to the centre in terms of supplies and volunteer time are welcome.
The centre has expanded to incorporate photography, music, sculpting, a radio station and film.
The idea behind the centre artistically is to display art in the space it was inspired to be created and integrate in-patients with the public speaking the common language of creativity.
The centre has undergone threats from the municipal government as it is on the city’s land that is up for development consideration for a real-estate project.
The centre is located in the barrio of Barracas in Constitucion. It is a historical area known for its architecture, immigrants, and particularly seedy nightlife. The area is not safe to walk around as a visitor.
There are no hard-set rules or processes that take place at the Borda and therefore it is best learned about through experience. The only rule is that no art created there can be sold. There is a general fear amongst the organizers that involving money will corrupt and compromise the project.
The art created at Borda is known as “Art Brut” and there is an expanding international market for this kind of art. It is becoming increasingly valuable.
Some of the art created at Borda can be seen displayed around the city, notably in Palermo Hollywood in restaurants ” Mattone” and “Il Balo de Mattone”
They also have well maintained facebook page and regular events:
Please let me know if you would like to donate money to go towards artists materials and I can put you in touch with my contact over in Buenos Aires.
I wouldn’t just photograph the people here but ask them first if I could take their photograph.