Inhabiting Spaces: Artists Paola Bascón and Amalia Pica invite to reflect on art, society and change

May 24, 2022 | News and Events

Latin Elephant continues the successful public programme in partnership with Gasworks, South London Gallery and in collaboration with Tate. Supported by the Arts Council England, the programme is enabling access and increase participation in the arts by the Latin-American communities in the UK.

Lithic Encounters with Paola Bascón ran at the South London Gallery:

65-67 Peckham Rd, SE5 8UH, London
Saturday 21st May 2022, at 11.30am – 1pm and 2.30 – 4pm

Mutant buildings and unlikely animals with Amalia Pica will take place at Walworth Library:

145-147 Walworth Road, SE17 1RW, London
Saturday 28th May 2022, at 11.30am – 1pm and 2.30pm – 4pm

Free tickets available at this link

From left to right: Paola Bascón: courtesy of the artist. Amalia Pica: Courtesy of the artist; Herald St, London; Fondazione Memmo; Rome. Photo: Daniele Molajoli. Work details: (Quasi) Catachresis #5, 2022. Legs of the table, teeth of the saw, back of the chair, tongue of the shoe, 287x40x94 cm.

Inhabiting Spaces is the art public programme 2021-2022 developed by the London NGO Latin Elephant in partnership with key leading UK art institutions including Gasworks, South London Gallery and TATE collaborating on a series of cultural activities to enable access, explore creativity and increase participation in arts by the Latin-American communities in the UK. 

As part of this programme, Right to Inhabit launched in March 2022 with a series of 6 commissioned workshops delivered by 6 Latin-American contemporary visual artists. These research-based workshops explore the meanings of inhabiting today while socially engaging with the realities of Latin-American communities in the UK and generating instances of collective thought and feeling.

The series of workshops kicked off last March at Gasworks with Sebastian Calfuqueo, a Chilean Indigenous Mapuche non-binary artist who facilitated Insubordinate Bodies. Departing from the history of Latin American performance art and its various forms of resistance to colonialism, participants of this workshop explored how gendered and racialised bodies affirm themselves in the context of the Southern Cone and beyond. 

Following Calfuqueo, Chilean artist Carolina Illanes presented at Tate modern a workshop that reflected on recent transformations carried out at Elephant and Castle through documents, letters, architectural drawings, and photographs taken from public archives, elements that comprised evidence through which to rebuild fragments of urban and residential places that no longer exist.

Currently, on the second chapter of Right to Inhabit, and to continue with the success of the programme, on the 21st of May Bolivian artist Paola Bascón brang to the Orozco Garden Lithic Encounters. The workshop, open to everyone but particularly calling to Latin-Americans, brang together different stories about stones from the Andes and from the South London Gallery’s beautifully geometric garden. 

Bascón led this audio-guided journey in Spanglish, inviting attendees to engage with their own bodies in a sensorial exploration of the Orozco Garden. While listening to the stories, attendees explored the relationship between stones, memories and the traces of erased territories we inhabit. After the guided walk, participants were invited to come together and share their experiences with the artist. For more information please visit this link.

Following on, the very well known Argentinean artist Amalia Pica makes a special invitation for everyone to join what promises to be a very creative and hands-on session: “As an immigrant the name Elephant and Castle always tickled my imagination. For this workshop, I invite people to create their own fantastical creatures mixing the architecture of the area and different elements such as plants, objects, and animals. We will use the books in Walworth library to trigger our imagination and to create fantastical creatures in a sort of collective bestiary.

Presented on the 28th of May with support from Walworth library and Syrup Magazine, this workshop takes the neighbourhood Elephant & Castle, the biggest centre of the Latin American community in the UK, as a point of departure to reflect on the meanings and senses that inhabiting has today, and how it is crossed with issues of infrastructure.

Right to Inhabit will then resume in July with the final 2 workshops of the series, resulted from Latin Elephant’s latest open call to Latin-American artists. More information on the open call available here.

All the activities will be free and open to all. 

Inhabiting Spaces is supported by the generosity of the Arts Council England which recognised the value of this programme in the impact it will have in the Latin American community in the UK, by strengthening Latinamerican audiences and increasing the community’s confidence while enabling their access and participation in the arts and cultural scene of the UK.

Joselyne Contreras Cerda, Public Programme Curator at Latin Elephant says:

In this second part of Right to Inhabit, histories, memories and the power of imagination as a tool of resistance will be explored. Amalia Pica and Paola Bascón will take us to a journey through Elephant and Castle and the Andes to collectively imagine our cities otherwise.

Patria Roman, Chair of Trustees at Latin Elephant says:

We are excited about our public programme and how communities are engaging with the artistic projects. All of them take different starting points to connect Latin American heritage and culture with current struggles over the right to inhabit places here in the UK and the city of London.

Note to editors

About Paola Bascón

Paola Bascón is a multidisciplinary artist working between La Paz and Berlin. She studied media art, design and media philosophy at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG). Her work can be described as an artistic and performative research around ritual practices, storytelling and colonial history. Through performance, installation and participatory formats Paola deals with the understanding of the body as territory, the body as a container of memory and the performative quality of nature. Paola has shown her work in Berlin – Spreepark, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, radialsystem, Uferstudios; Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Galeria Kiosko; La Paz – Museo Nacional de Arte, Alliance Francaise, Casa de la Cultura, Materia Gris; Rio de Janeiro – Largo das Artes, London – Playground, among others.

About Amalia Pica

Born in 1978 in the province of Neuquén, Argentina, Amalia Pica currently lives and works in London.

Pica studied sculpture at the Prilidiano Pueyrredón National School of Fine Arts. She did a residency at the Rijksakademie in the Netherlands and has lived in the UK for more than a decade. Her work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Tate Modern in London. Her works are part of important collections such as the MCA in Chicago, the MNBA in Neuquén, the MoMA in New York, the Serralves Museum in Porto, among others.

Pica’s practice is focused on aspects of communication, language and cultural intimacy and takes various forms such as sculpture, installation and performance.

About Latin Elephant

Latin Elephant is a registered charity that promotes alternative and innovative ways of engaging and incorporating BAME migrant and ethnic groups, particularly Latin Americans, in processes of urban change in London. Since 2012, the charity has been focusing in matters of urban regeneration affecting Latin Americans and making significant contributions to discussions on urban policy and migrant ethnic economies in London.

About South London Gallery

The South London Gallery was established on its current site in Camberwell in 1891 to ‘bring art to the people of south London’. Today the gallery comprises its original site at 65 Peckham Road; the Fire Station (which opened to the public in September 2018); Art Block, a space for local children and families on Sceaux Gardens estate and an artist-designed garden. The SLG has an international reputation for its contemporary art exhibitions by established, mid-career and younger artists and programme of film and performance events. Its highly regarded, free education programme includes a peer-led young people’s forum; family workshops; artist-led projects and commissions on local housing estates; and a BBC Children in Need-funded programme for looked after children.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. By 2030 ACE wants England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help deliver this vision. Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council has developed a £160 million emergency response package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support.

For further information, interviews and images please contact Joselyne Contreras or Sophie Wall at