As I listened to Marina Oural speak, I was thinking about the difference between understanding art as a way of life and understanding life as a form of art. Her work along with Ugia Pedreira, from her Oficina de outros asuntos do movemento–or Office of Other Affairs in the Movement–make one reflect upon social (and environmental) responsibility, and about the role of the arts in a definition of culture that sometimes does not allow us to see that culture encompasses everything–and goes much beyond the arts.
In our conversation, we talked about art and health, about art and diversity (and her project Inclusiones–Inclusions–with the Edes Foundation), and about what it means to return to a rural environment, along with all its consequences. And through her, I understood the importance of initiatives such as «Life with Art in the Rural»: the first gathering of cultural projects focused on the rural environments of Ourense and Lugo, coordinated by Cristina Castro and Anxo Moure, and held last month in Garabelos, Chantada, with the intent of «encouraging the exchange of expertise and experience» among the different projects.
I thought about the importance of that network, and about the notion that a rural movement can help us see that our strength to face the future may exist precisely here, in the desolate Galicia. And I thought about the ways one finds to reevaluate the ground on which one treads, and on what it means to be sustainable in the twenty-first century.
Marina and Ugia will open the Prado de Piego–the Meadow of Piego– in the Valley of Lourenzá to do something intangible: to invite us to create and reflect about that other way of understanding life in which the land roots our lives. An inclusive space to share beauty and health so that, through them, «one can grant oneself permission to feel and make it visible.» That is their courageous way to return worth to the land.