Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón
Cancha Abierta (Yellow Series)
Cancha Abierta (Yellow Series) is set of six drawings made during a residency at Abubuya in which Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón was invited to participate in a new project exploring the Mamoré river and its communities, in the Department of Beni, Bolivia. On half of its territory, Bolivia maintains forest ecosystems and preserves river basins and wetlands of international importance — the Mamoré River is part of the upper Amazon River Basin, which covers some 7 million square kilometers, corresponding to approximately 40% of the total area of the South American continent. In the Department of Beni, in Bolivia, the central part of the Mamoré River, where his project took place, includes an immense floodplain. Due to a severe flood that affected the region in 2015, hundreds of families were affected with severe damage to or complete destruction of their homes and public spaces; Beni was one of the most distressed areas. Working directly with the community of El Rosario located in the region of Beni and taking into account the local context, Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón unearthed a community basketball court buried underneath three feet of mud. For the project, he organized an “archeological” excavation to dig out half of the court. After working for several days with the help of the community, they were able to remove most of the mud and restore the basketball court. And when the project was finished, they organized their first basketball game. Valued for their cartooning sensibility and storytelling, the set of images depict the process of excavation and rebuilding. For Bubu, the drawings are not only a means to record the process, but a unique aesthetic approach to address the preservation and support of communities in need.