Alerta Mira-sol & Alerta vecino!
In 2019, the photographer Blanca Munt became part of a neighbourhood chat created to monitor and warn of possible thefts and suspicious attitudes in her neighbourhood. Mira-sol is an affluent suburban district -apparently quiet and safe- made up of single-family, standardised and fenced houses in Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona.
As a member of the group, Munt experienced and documented the transformation of the chat’s initial purpose. A self-managed, spontaneous and participatory tool among neighbours designed to keep the community together in the face of potential attacks, it was quickly conditioned by the characteristics of the messaging application, the fidelity required to the group’s mission, and the dynamics of suspicion and paranoia. The design of the platform itself, which encourages real-time interaction, the decontextualisation of aggregated content and the appearance of a horizontal community, encouraged participants’ prejudices, ignoring the questionable veracity of the images shared and the vertical structure of its governance.
Alerta Mira-sol explores the tensions created between the privilege of living in the disaggregated architectures of suburban life and the culture of fear encouraged by messaging platforms.
Based on this project, the author has created a new participatory online proposal for Getxophoto 2021 entitled Alerta Vecino!
Join in to collaborate in a neighbourhood watch network to make the world a safer place!
Participate in Alerta vecino! (Neighbour Alert!) and you will have access to tools to protect your home in collaboration with an online citizen community. For a month, you will learn simple techniques to keep your home and your loved ones safe, while helping other people. With free access, the WhatsApp group Alerta vecino! is a space for collaborative neighbourhood surveillance which is virtual and spam-free. Enter the chat, where you will receive tools and practical information, and you can take simple steps to help you prevent danger by using your mobile phone. Make your home and others’ a safe place!
Alerta vecino! was developed by Blanca Munt from her project Mira-sol Alert, and is an experimental online project that explores social dynamics in neighbourhood watch chats.
Blanca Munt was born in Barcelona in 1997. She has studied Photography and Contemporary Media at the Idep School of Image and Design in Barcelona. Her interests focus on housing, architecture, periphery, landscape, portraiture and society, and she researches on the culture of fear and paranoia. Her project Alerta Mira-sol was the winner of the Fiebre Photobook Dummy Award and has just been published by Dalpine Books. Her series Sòl i Sostre was exhibited at the Festival Mirades del Baix Empordà. She currently curates, together with Borja Ballbé, the digital platform Panorama, where they publish artistic projects that address issues related to landscape and territory.
Venue: Info Point
Address: Amezti 4, Algorta
Experimental online project.