Last week on Wednesday, February 11th, some of the other interns and I went along with our Hola Cultura supervisor, Christine MacDonald, to the Museum of the Americas in D.C for a tour of what once was the longest mural in United States history—the Raíces de Paz (“Roots of Peace”) mural painted by Carlos Viláro. At the museum we met Ms. Adriana, who gave us the tour. The goal of the experience was to learn more about Latin American modern art movement (which took place from the 20th century until the 1960s), and to learn how to conduct professional interviews. Although Christine was the person conducting the interview, we also were allowed to ask questions. In all, it was an awesome experience.
The Latin American modern art movement was mainly influenced by European avant-garde; Viláro’s mural showed signs of European avant-garde influence, and also pre-Colombian and African influences. The mural is supposed to portray how different cultures across the world are slowly reconciling with each other, learning about one another, and, ultimately, finding peace. What I loved most about the mural were the various symbols present. The mural is split into 10 sections, all of which demonstrate a different “stage” where the cultures are working toward peace. It’s hard to distinguish where one section ends and where another begins, but each section features faces looking at each other—sometimes the faces look very similar, but most times the faces don’t resemble one another. Each “face” represents a culture, and is one of the many symbols within the mural. Other recurring symbols include a fish—representing peace (and could also represent, according to Christianity, Jesus Christ).
After the tour, we collaborated on writing the article about our visit. The article is now published on the Hola Cultura site. The link to the article is here: http://www.holacultura.com/2015/02/24/murals-appreciation-carlos-paez-vilaros-underground-masterpiece-at-the-oas/