It just takes a short stroll through La Candelaria to feel the history beneath your feet – the cobble stone pathways, the narrow streets. But look up and the buildings which line the walkways are too steeped in a rich history. Having lived in La Candelaria for the last few months, I tend to walk down the same streets every day, not really sure of what once went on in the buildings surrounding me.
But yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Fundación Teatro Odeón, a foundation, a cultural artistic centre and a gorgeously dilapidated building which has been rescued and restored in a way that only hints at its former glory.
“It’s as though the building is exerting its right to say ‘Hey, I was abandoned!’” says media and communications representative of the Odeón Foundation, Vanessa Adatto.
Once a glorious theatre in the 1940s, the building was severely damaged and abandoned during the Bogatazo riots and left vacant for more than a decade. Once a building taken over by the elements, damp, cold and lifeless, it has been restored and now Fundación Teatro Odeón uses the building to create a cultural and artistic space to cultivate ideas and support local and international artists.
I visited yesterday for the Festival of Contemporary Art which is a five-day event. Taking over and working in unison with the decayed foundations of the Teatro were works from Colombian as well as Spanish, Argentinian and other artists from around the world. Here is just a taste of what was exhibited.
Here’s what Vanessa has to say about the foundation and why it’s important to the artistic, cultural and education development of Bogotá.
If you do get a chance, go and visit today. If not, add them on Facebook to keep up-to-date with what else they have in store in the future.