Brian, Claudia, Gaby, Fernando, Andrea, Micaela and Matías, all of them 7 to 14-year-old children from Sarmiento barrio in José C. Paz, used to spend their days in the street, working with their families in the recycling of rubbish. Confronted with this reality, the school in their neighbourhood offered their parents two abandoned classrooms so they could use them for a small business initiative they were partners in. In exchange for having access to these premises, the parents committed to give up the informal collection and recycling of rubbish and to make sure their children attended school.

During a month the children and I met in a workshop improvised in those two abandoned classrooms. In that time we prepared a collective birthday party and visited artists’ studios and private art collections. The participating children gained an insight into the local contemporary art world and an understanding of how ideas and values circulate in it.

In order to finance the project, I contacted 25 art collectors from the local art circuit and I proposed them to participate in three ways: 1) by contributing to a credit pool that would be given back once the resulting art piece was sold; 2) by taking part in the discussions about the value of the resulting pieces; 3) by buying the resulting art piece for their collection. Only 5 collectors -Gustavo Bruzzone, Mario Brodersohn, Marion Helft, Mauro Herlitzka and Alberto Sendrós- agreed to take part, but they mostly declined my proposal and decided instead to donate money for the project to happen. Mauro Herlitzka bought one of the art pieces at the end of the project.


Photographs ©Claudia Fontes

You can view the whole project as a PDF file