Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Natasha vonKaenel Humanities and Social Science

How Does Art Exhibition and Production Impact the Community Support for a Recovered Factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina?

In Argentina, during the economic meltdown of 2001, many factory owners fled the country, leaving hundreds of workers with no income and no clear idea of what lie ahead. In the months that followed, workers centered in Buenos Aires occupied their factory buildings and restarted production as a worker-owned cooperatively managed workplace. Some of these factories created Cultural Centers, hoping to make their factory a hub for the local community by providing health services, teaching classes, or holding art exhibitions or craft fairs. This research will focus on how an artistically oriented Cultural Center impacted community support for the IMPA factory, by comparing it with the UST factorys health oriented Cultural Center, and the Ghelco factory, which does not have a Cultural Center at all.

Message To Sponsor

While assessing the political impact of art could be a purely academic question, for me, it is also a deeply personal one. My parents consist of one would-be politician, and one would-be artist. When they came together, they decided to use their skillscreating art and connectionsto instead create an alternative newspaper geared toward spurring social change. SURF and the JSB Fund have given me a chance to explore the connection between art and politics in a completely different context. I hope to bring something new to the academic community, but also to my familys dinner table. Thank you for this opportunity.
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Major: Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major, Art and Social Movements, Creative Writing (minor)
Mentor: Margaret Weir, Sociology
Sponsor: JSB SURF fellow
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