Recovering abandoned spaces
I am back in Ciudad Juárez after my first visit five years ago. At the time the city was deemed the world’s murder capital and there were dozens of homicides every day. Today the violence has gone down, but the effects of those years are still visible in the city’s landscape. For example, some working class neighbourhoods in the city’s outskirts are partly abandoned. The abandoned homes, known as tapias, are considered risky by their neighbours, because they can become hideouts for addicts or gang members. One youth organisation I went to visit today, Casa Promoción Juvenil, takes over abandoned houses in the south-east of the city, and transforms them in communal spaces for children and adolescents of the area. This afternoon, these children were happy to be watching a video on the newly-painted white wall of the latest recovered tapia.