Iván Argote

On June 07, Iván Argote (CO) presented for Hidden Histories his long-running project “Activissimə” created in 2011 and carried out through a series of protest-workshops designed for girls and boys aged 4 to 9. The work is aimed at developing critical thinking through language games and playful demonstrations, to encourage voice empowerment and imagine new paths and ways of crossing and reappropriating public spaces. In Rome, the workshop took the name Attivissimə and took place over two workshop days, June 06 and 07, with a group of children/participants in the after-school activities of the Associazione Genitori Scuola Di Donato, a reality that constitutes a fundamental point of reference in the Esquilino neighborhood thanks to the initiatives that encourage and consolidate relationships and exchanges among the many communities of different cultural backgrounds that inhabit the neighborhood.

In “Activissimə”, the artist takes inspiration from the practices he experienced during his own childhood with his parents, who were both activists in the 1970s in Colombia, and uses the experience of “class protests” as a starting point to formulate questions and critiques that interrogate the specific context experienced by the children involved in the workshop. The exercises experiment with a playful use of the language and reconstruct the public space as an interactive place. 

“What do we like?”, What don’t we like?”, “What is a protest?”, “What shall we protest for?”, “Do we do this collectively or individually?” Together with these questions, the children started a rally on the afternoon of June 7, departing from the Di Donato School until the gardens in Vittorio Square, for a collective moment of protest accessible to all.