January 15, 2021

Coronavirus to migrant disaster: Colombian craftivist Edgar Alvarez fashions clay to coach the plenty – artwork and tradition

Edgar Alvarez, an artist and activist, is a Venezuelan residing in Bogota, Colombia. The ‘craftivist’ works with plasticine figures, by way of which he explains and highlights the problems within the Andean area in recent times. The plastic artist explains present issues and historic occasions by way of his art work, which may be discovered strewn about within the Colombian capital. Alvarez’s newest undertaking focuses on the present coronavirus pandemic, these struggling due to it and the migrant crises.

Alvarez has devoted his life to ‘explaining’ present affairs and elevating consciousness among the many inhabitants, he works underneath the identify Se Lo Explico con Plastilina, which interprets to ‘I clarify with plastic’ and has racked hundreds of followers on his social media, together with the 110okay followers on Instagram.

Craftivism is a mixture between crafts/arts and activism, which often revolves across the themes of anti-capitalism, environmentalism, solidarity or third-wave feminism, however is expressed by way of artwork.

Alvarez’s clay artwork symbolises the very actual wrestle of the residents affected by the coronavirus, and may be discovered all throughout the town usually near down-on-their-luck residents, whom the artwork mirrors.

ALSO SEE | PHOTOS: Plastic artist-activist, Edgar Alvarez explains world crises by way of plastic collectible figurines

The Andean nation is struggling to regulate the unfold of the coronavirus, with over 4,77,000 coronavirus energetic circumstances and over 5,000 deaths. The nation’s unemployment charge has greater than doubled (24.5%) from what it was (11.2%) in the identical month final yr In Might.

Alvarez advised Reuters about why he was creating these figures, a few of which confirmed Central American migrants carrying only a few belongings ready to succeed in the US of America, “This (pandemic) has modified us, so it’s important to have the ability to depict the people who find themselves struggling amid the pandemic and that’s the place I are available in to elucidate it with clay plasticine. It’s exactly that, to deliver a transparent message to individuals and that’s the way it works, with clay plasticine it’s simpler to elucidate sure points.” Alvarez has proven the faces of hundreds of Venezuelan migrants who needed to return to their international locations due to the pandemic. His different artwork focuses on the truth that the coronavirus may conceal anyplace.

Alvarez love for plasticine began as a sport with the flour for arepas (a sort of bread made with floor maize and typical to the delicacies of Colombia and Venezuela) that his grandmother used and ended up turning into his lifelong ardour. He advised Reuters, “I began like many youngsters in class making balls and sticks with my grandparents, who favored to work with dough, my grandmother particularly who made arepas so I favored to make dolls with the flour for the arepas. After faculty, I labored so much with clay, however then I found animation.”


Alvarez has at all times used his artwork to unfold information, spotlight a problem and lift consciousness, and in 2015, the artist labored on a brief movie concerning the homeless inhabitants of Los Angeles, California titled Los Invisibles undertaking, which received awards for animation.

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