“Our Barrio, our monument…we are working toward imagining and reimagining what monuments mean to us and the spaces of gathering that we want to create.”
–Imelda G. Cortez, La Doce
To contest gentrification in a major urban center within the US-Mexico borderlands, La Doce envisions flipping notions of who is honored with monuments—from heroic mythical figures to local residents—through the creation of a new blueprint for recognition. Led by a team of artists, educators, and civic officials, La Doce convened workshops, walking tours, mapping exercises, and street festivals as public displays of belonging. They summoned frameworks of public memory making, community land trust building, and economic development as forces for ensuring an enduring presence in barrio neighborhood spaces in Tucson.
The central physical intervention of their Re:Generation project was the activation of an underutilized park through tactical urbanism and human-centered design. Working in mosaics, and with collaborators across generations, the La Doce team co-created a vibrant community space in response to much missed plazas of Central and South America and the Caribbean, which works to connect residents from a diversity of backgrounds to their heritage and to one another.
Team members include: Imelda G. Cortez, Vanessa Cordova, Claudio Rodriguez, Nelda Liliana Ruiz Calles, Lane Santa Cruz, and Carlos Valenzuela.
Local Partner Organization: Southwest Folklife Alliance, Inc.