MIAU: Unfinished Museum of Urban Art in Fanzara

The citizens’ initiative has transformed the village into an outdoor art gallery. Besides the cultural interest, the renewal of the urban identity means an economic benefit that allows the village to combat depopulation.

MIAU is a citizens’ initiative that has transformed Fanzara, a village of 323 inhabitants in Castellón (Spain), into an Unfinished Museum of Urban Art that is constantly evolving. The facades of the village welcome interventions of urban artists, who are invited to participate with full freedom of expression. Thus a new urban identity is born, fusion of the traditional rural character of the village (continuous, static, one-colour) and the emergence of art (discontinuous, dynamic, multicoloured). The only condition proposed to the artists in relation to their work is the incorporation of the inhabitants of Fanzara in the creative process, which causes that during some days the artists and villagers interact and collaborate in workshops and activities. In fact, it has become customary that artists stay in homes of volunteer neighbours, who also provide them with food.

The cultural charm of this initiative has increased interest in the village and attracts today an exponential number of visitors, which means an economic benefit that allows the village to combat depopulation. In this line, in 2006 there was a proposal to build a toxic waste incinerator in the village. The proposal socially divided Fanzara, with some arguing that it was a necessity to compensate the economic decline that the village was suffering and those who believed in healthier alternatives. Finally, the proposal was rejected. Years later, the M.I.A.U project transcends as a positive example of a sustainable strategy for revitalizing decaying rural contexts.

TV report (13 min; only Spanish):

 

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(via The Guardian)