FARO - en undersøgelse af et kulturhus' evne til at styrke empowerment

Bodil Signe Wedele Rasmussen

Student thesis: Termpaper


FARO, Fabrica de Artes y Oficios, is a culture house in Iztapalapa, one of the most marginalized zones in Mexico City. It started as a pilot project in 2000, but has now been there for almost 15 years, has more than 70 courses and is host of a number of events every week as concerts, exhibitions and releases. The vision behind FARO consists of two pillars: one is to offer free public cultural education of a high level, the other to integrate with the community. In practice these two visions can be difficult to meet at the same time. The high level at the free courses attracts people from all over town, which on the one hand to some extent negate the integration with the community. On the other hand the mix of people using FARO strengthens the social capital because it creates networks between people that would not have met outside FARO. At the same time it helps providing a better image for Iztapalapa. FARO also has some concrete effects for different groups of people taking the courses. The ones that are already interested in the arts get access to workshops where they can practice their art. The ones within the formal educational system but without any occupation for a period of time get experiences they can use either directly or indirectly in their ongoing education / search for job. Finally the ones, who hope one day to get an income on the basis of the skills they learn at FARO, get a step in the right direction. Though the very different aims of the users at FARO, make it difficult have a focus on either teaching arts or handicrafts. FARO is a public institution, and all activities are free. But being a public institution also means having a professional management and being part of a political discourse, which also affects the relation to the community. None the less the users of FARO have a great deal of ownership to the place, but there seems to be a gap between on one side the management and on the other side the users and the teachers. FARO have to be aware not to turn into an urban reference without any connection to the local community, and a suggestion is to implement simple democratic tools to give the users a more direct way of being heard and getting influence.

EducationsPlanning Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Undergraduate or graduate
Publication date5 Jun 2014
SupervisorsMartin Severin Frandsen


  • empowerment
  • lokalsamfundsudvikling
  • kulturhus
  • Mexico City