Part of Arte y Corazón
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With an almost ten year history, the En Aquellos Tiempos: Fotohistorias del Westside project first began in 2006 with approximately 50 fotobanners and has grown into an outdoor photo exhibition with over 150 fotobanners in more than six locations throughout the Westside. The Fotohistorias del Westside visually shows and protects the voices of long-time Westside residents in hopes of preserving one of San Antonio’s culturally richest communities. Once a month, elders and other community members gather at the Westside Casa de Cuentos, a house that serves as a living history space for this project. There, usually over coffee and pan dulce, participants hold open discussions about the Westside, ranging in topic from cultural traditions to community history to the racism and other challenges that the Westside has faced. Participants are also invited to bring photos of the Westside, dating mostly from the early 1900s through the 1950s, which are then scanned, saved digitally, and returned to the original owner. All the details about each photo are also collected–who is pictured, where and when it was taken, etc. Using this post-custodial model, the Esperanza uses the digital copies of the photographs shared to convert them to life-size banners hung around the Westside neighborhood. Through these discussions, the project honors and reclaims the history and culture of the Westside.
En Aquellos Tiempos: Fotohistorias del Westside not only contextualizes the post-war environment of the 40s and 50s through visuals, but also provides a beautiful display of public art in the Westside community. With over 2,000 photos collected, recorded, and archived, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is pleased to invite the entire San Antonio community to enjoy this unique street museum highlighting the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Westside.