Rethinking Consumption, A Culture of Mending

A public program focused on a culture of mending and that takes a critical look at consumer habits, prompting reflection on whether or not we really need certain material goods and the possibility of extending their useful life by repairing or adapting them.

The program also provides for the fitting out of Salón Huev@ as a place where participants can consult materials related to a culture of reuse, leading them to question the validity of expiration dates. In its current form, Salón Huev@ is a place where neighbors can share information, trade off small mending jobs or inform us as to which practical workshops are most helpful to them.

Strategy implementation programs:

Cinema Season: Buy, repair, reuse

Date: November 2019

Coordinators: Lucía and Rosario Barragán

Participants: 39 neighbors

The neighbors Lucia and Rosario Barragán selected films about the environmental problem generated directly by global consumer culture: Comprar, tirar, comprar; The true Cost; No Impact Man; Ponyo; and Pachamama. During the subsequent conversations those neighbors who often frequent cinema seasons at Casa Gallina shared experiences on how programmed obsolescence affects their daily lives, from the material to the emotional. They also analyzed the alternatives proposed in the films and discussed their applicability in their immediate context. On the other hand they mentioned how in indigenous cultures nature is conceived as part of existence and not as a source of resources, a perspective that, according to the neighbors, is vital to help rethink our way of seeing reality.


Embroidery to Conceal Stains and Holes 

Dates: November – December 2019

Coordinan: Mariana Villeme y Fernanda Poire

Participan: 19 vecinas

A program divided into counseling for children and adults in which participants learned the basic stitches of the technique of hand embroidery and then applied it to repair garments that they each wanted to repair. As the lessons advanced the coordinators fostered and promoted the skills, needs and interests of each participant. In turn the groups became integrated naturally and supported each other - finding embroidery to be an activity that, due to its characteristics of concentration, delicacy and relaxation, is ideal to encourage conversation and create bonds. It is also worth noting the strong interest of children in learning this technique, which is why activities are prepared to provide some continuity that addresses the interests that participants gradually discovered they had.


Electrical Installations and Maintenance Tips 

Date: November 13th, 2019

Coordinator: Santos González

Participants: 13 neighbors

The neighbor Santos González shared basic theoretical principles on the operation of electricity in the house and taught some of the neighbors how to install a simple switch and three-phase switch. He also shared useful advice on what they need to know when they go to a specialist to fix electrical faults. Finally he gave safety and general maintenance advice, adapting this to the characteristics of the participants' homes.


Basic Bicycle Maintenance Tips

Date: November 27th, 2019

Coordinator: Jorge Mendoza

Participants: 12 neighbors


The neighbor Jorge Mendoza advised the attendees on how to change tires, lubricate chains and brakes and clean their bicycle’s transmission. He also gave them public cultural advice for those who travel by bicycle and explained the differences between the types of bicycles on the market, with the aim of understanding which one best suits the needs of each participant. He explained the timescales of periodic maintenance necessary according to the use a bicycle receives. Finally, he noted the interests of each participant to organize a second session in which other necessary aspects of the technical maintenance of bicycles will be addressed.


Film series: From Work to Affections

Dates: February to March 2020

Coordinated by: Alejandro Guzmán

Participating: 120 neighbors

 

Filmmaker and neighbor Alejandro Guzmán selected four films that, from different perspectives, pose narratives in which the protagonists question their morality and daily life in the face of economic, health, emotional and identity needs. After the projections, intense debates took place between the attendees about how economic and free time precariousness impose difficulties for people to value aspects that bring meaning to life: from their family and personal relationships, to their individual interests and as members of a community.

 

The films screened during this cycle were: Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019), Toni Erdman (Maren Ade, 2016), The Farewell (Lulú Wang, 2019) and The Delay (Rodrigo Plá, 2013)—the film’s director was present during this last event.

 

Electrical Installations and Maintenance Tips

Dates: February 6 and 13, 2020

Facilitated by: Santos González

Participants: 12 neighbors

 

This workshop was based on the concerns, doubts and interests presented by the residents who attended a previous consultation also facilitated by neighbor Santos González, this time the workshop extended to two sessions, in which the participants made an apartment’s electrical circuit scale model.

 

As a natural follow up of the coordination of several counseling sessions on topics such as: home repair and maintenance of electrical installations, clothing, glasses, bicycles, kitchen utensils, amongst other from October 2019 to March 2020 -in addition to producing a series of visual contents on the culture of repair and conscious consumption—; Casa Gallina began a program that includes equipping one of the classrooms as a permanent technical learning workshop related to repair and sustainability.

 

Know Your Sewing Machine

Dates:February to March 2020

Coordinated by: Mariana Villeme

Participants: 18 neighbors


Last year, while teaching Embroidery to Conceal Stains and Holes, designer Mariana Villeme picked up on the participants’ desire to learn to use their own sewing machines. Based on these concerns she proposed and implemented this workshop, in which each neighbor attended with her own sewing machine to learn how to make hems, enlarge and reduce the size of pants, add or expand pockets and put in zippers, as well as how to make garments, bags, covers and scarves from recycled materials. During each session, Villeme shared general information about the current state of the fashion industry and its relationship with labor exploitation, pollution and cultural appropriation; shedding, on the other hand, light on alternative practices such as clothing exchange, collective repair and local production of garments.

 

Basic Bicycle Maintenance

Date: February 5, 2020

Facilitated by: Jorge Mendoza, Clara Vadillo and Sonia Medina

Participantes: 11 neighbors


The neighbor Jorge Mendoza—having already facilitated a session on Basic Bicycle Maintenance—followed up on the expressed interests of participants and proposed a complimentary session on transmission and braking systems' maintenance. Previously, Clara Vadillo and Sonia Medina from the Institute for Transport and Development Policies, had a conversation with the participants on the rights and obligations of the urban cyclist.


Let's Make a Shirt

Dates: May 16-17, 2020

Coordinator: Mariana Villeme

Participants: 17 neighbors

Format: Online class


A group of kids accompanied by their mothers learned how to transform an adult’s shirt into a garment adjusted to their size and preferences. The class was led by fashion designer Mariana Villeme.


Cleaning Products Workshop

Dates: July 25, and August 15 and 29

Facilitated by: Leticia Flores

Participants: 70 neighbors

Format: Online classes

 

This workshop brought together people interested in learning how to make simple and practical sanitizing hygiene products from natural soap and plant preparations. It was held over video conference by neighbor and biologist Leticia Flores and 70 Santa María la Ribera residents attended.