Casa Morada, is an art and cultural space for the community in the eastern part of the city. It hosts free events everyday, ranging from movie night to music and workshops. It also acts as an exhibition space for the community to showcase their work and to sell them, a photography exhibition was on while I was there. I also went into the band room where a local band was practising. Many people around the area go there to access computer, use the internet. Perhaps one of the most distinctive features is their full-fledged radio station, which broadcast programme everyday, an important voice for the community. They have been able to gather consensus from the neighbourhood that they are allowed to paint the street and cover the lamp posts into starry skies, and made a STOP (“PARE” in Spanish) sign pink, giving the stree a very friendly and welcoming feel. The government doesn’t intervene this effort, and making this community-led, bottom up effort very possible. From my experience, this would be difficult to imagine in Hong Kong, as the government has a strong control over managing different details in the city.

Casa Morada
Casa Morada
The pink stop sign, lamp post as a starry sky, and community garden by the resident artist at Casa Morada.
The pink stop sign, lamp post as a starry sky, and community garden by the resident artist at Casa Morada.
Casa Morada: community takes over the street
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