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Portable Cholets

Monday 20 July – Sunday 2 August 2020

The ‘Portable Cholets series’ Visiting School will intertwine film-making with Architecture, inspired by Freddy Mamani’s spectacularly vivid cholets (brightly coloured mansions). Immersed within the vibrant landscpe of El Alto, students will work on a performative piece of wearable architecture – to question notions of identity, folklore and contemporary rituals through spatial production.

In the streets of La Paz, the most ordinary routines are spontaneously transformed into unique spiritual happenings. Architecture offers a unique way to creatively explore these processes, becoming an effective framework to grasp this complex social reality.

We will analyse El Alto’s diverse range of visual languages, as well as religious and cultural references, to extract a peculiar screenplay, informed by precise design principles. In particular, we will look at symbolic proportions, envisioning a choreographic bridge between the human body and selected architectural components.

Ultimately, we will re-imagine the stunning buildings of Mamani as characters – portable cholets –  to construct a multi-layered performance that brings popular myths into dialogue with the urban fabric, understanding how architecture affects Bolivia’s delicate political context.

We will collaborate with Freddy Mamani Silvestre, and the award winning film director Marcos Loayza.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

The students will be working in groups of 3 people max and, formed at the beginning of the workshop, always supported by 2 or 3 tutors. A studio space will be made available to work and meet all together on a daily basis. Then, the final performance will be produced and recorded collectively, as a film crew.

The course will start with a lectures series on the history of Bolivia with Freddy Mamani Silvestre – rituals and theoretical understanding.

– Visits of factories and artists studio
– Storyboard/Screenwriting with Marcos Loayza – generating a spatial narrative.
– Production of props/Fabrication of models with Freddy Mamani Silvestre – merging performance with architecture.
– Filming/post-production with Marcos Loayza –