29 May, 2011

Weaving the net


On planning the Tribute organised by the Municipality of Cajamarca to mark our 40th anniversary, the creation of a photographic and bibliographic exposition was proposed.  We had to think hard about how to create an exposition that didn’t cost too much, also knowing that we couldn’t use nails or adhesives on the walls of the council premises.  Apart from that, this tribute was historic for us, some many times ignored, many times relegated and more than once proscribed.

It was a day of celebration for us, beginning with an exposition of photos, trying to display the arduous work carried out by the rural librarians and coordinators in the communities of Cajamarca.

In the end, we found the cheapest, most coherent, practical and visual means of displaying the works; the background where we would place the photos about us: a net.

One week before, in the Central office we got to work weaving this net, and we can say it took a lot of work.  But whilst weaving, like fisherman, we have recaptured once again what we are. 

It is not easy to weave a net that has a certain harmony.  You have to put a lot of effort into each bead, each knot, each link.  The string we used wasn’t always clean and had a few marks which, even though we washed it, didn’t come out completely.  The string wasn’t always perfect either, it had parts which looked like they would unravel.

It is very important to measure things out before starting to weave: lengths must be measured in pairs, even just roughly, because otherwise the net will have no life to it and it will look like a mechanical factory product.  The knots must be strong, but as links need to be corrected here and there, they must be flexible; and they have to be tightened well.  The most difficult are the knots at the edges of the net, because they are what, in the end, give it its shape.  Equally, it is not always easy to maintain the organic structure in difficult moments and circumstances.

We need to end up with a firm net which can hold the images.... or the blows which threaten our community life.  The whole needs to support the parts and be strong and sure enough to last not only an exposition, but the risks and dejections which our community members suffer daily in the different and remote parts of our land.

It’s enjoyable weaving this net, even though sometimes we get tired or it seems tiring; above all if one has to weave alone.  If we work together, we are always cheered up by a smile, a story, a song, or just tightening or adjusting the knots.  Together we not only weave but WE ARE A NET.    

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