P | A | N – Proyecto Amasandería Nacional

P | A | N – Proyecto Amasandería Nacional (2016)

Espacios Revelados / Changing Spaces
Barrio Yungay, Santiago, Chile

Proyecto Amasandería Nacional is a mobile bakery that travels the streets of Barrio Yungay inviting the newly arrived communities of immigrants to participate in a collective action: to produce and bake their own bread.  The bread then becomes a vehicle for social integration and a catalyst for the production of cohesive public space in a neighborhood challenged by the flows and clashes of new cultures.

Proyecto Amasandería Nacional was developed as part of a public art initiative that aimed to engage art, community and heritage in the dilapidated Barrio Yungay in Santiago, Chile. Yungay, lately designated a conservation area, is the oldest planned neighbourhood in the city centre, long left to decay as a social and economic backwater, and now increasingly gentrified by those wanting to reclaim the area’s latent grandeur.

Proyecto Amasanderia Nacional aims to contribute to the discussion on heritage and community by revisiting simultaneously two equally important aspects when reading Barrio Yungay: its material heritage – i.e. its architectures and material state – and its immaterial heritage, the cultural capital of those who live in those same buildings.   P | A | N proposes a participatory device through the temporary activation of public space, to bring visibility and to document the different aspects and values of heritage; but also, to create a vehicle for social integration for communities in conflict with or within the territory they inhabit.

P | A | N: Kneading dough while knitting communities

The image of bread in its universal simplicity and, at the same time, cultural density, becomes the catalyst for the processes that the project wants to articulate: 1) the making of bread as a highly inclusive production process; 2) the act of kneading dough as a space for play where to erase categories and hierarchies; 3) the exercise of collective production as a space of (intellectual) transference between participants and material (your bread represents you); and finally, 4) the concretion of a transaction as a direct translation of participation – your time is represented by the amount of kilos of bread baked.


Catalina Pollak Williamson in collaboration with students of the Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, Universidad Diego Portales.

P | A | N was commissioned for the Changing Spaces initiative by the Siemens-Stiftung Foundation.





Discussion P | A | N – Proyecto Amasandería Nacional

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  • Thank you for sharing this socially-sensitive project, Catalina. The process of knitting bread as a metaphor for the building and interweaving of communities seems more than appropriate. I am curious about the documentation and the follow-up of such interventions: did you stay in touch with the people that participated of the action? Besides the bread, what was the other product of their participation? How was all this documented and gathered?

    17.10.2016 — 15:26Yes(0)No(0)Reply

    • Catalina Pollak

      Hi Pablo, the project was very well received by the different communities. Everyone was eager to participate, engage with the process of bread-making and share their recipes while they were waiting for their bread to come out of the mud-oven. We had an old Olivetti set in one side of the tricycle which we used to document this information. Every participant was encouraged to tell briefly about their experience with bread – which was usually related to their country of origin- and their relation with Barrio Yungay. Once the bread was ready, we weighted it and asked for participants to pose for a portrait picture showing what they had produced. Such proud faces! All this material was intended as an archive of the project, but also as an ethnographic mapping device to read the situation of the neighbourhood. We shared all the images through a facebook page on request of the same participants.

      20.10.2016 — 13:40Yes(0)No(0)Reply

      • Great pictures. I can imagine such a mapping to work very well as an ethnographic tool… and did the participants follow-up in some ways? I am very curious about the relation between short term-interventions and long term participation; ways in which we manage to support long term engagement via immediate interventions.

        25.10.2016 — 11:21Yes(0)No(0)Reply

  • Catalina Pollak

    An important part of the discussion triggered by the Changing Spaces initiative (http://espaciosrevelados.cl/en) within the more established communities was about the legacy of the project. They felt the project -though a great initiative to bring visibility to Yungay- played more at the level of spectacle instead of creating a change within. Probably P A N was one the projects that engaged the most with the different communities and their problems. I am not aware of a major follow up on the project as a whole, but I am aware of the interest that Proyecto Amasandería Nacional created and the expectation the communities had for it to continue… The conceptual clarity of the proposal was very well matched by the playful, performative and inclusive condition of the project, so one could read it as a good tested prototype if long term change is the expected outcome. I believe continuity is really important for projects such as this to deliver their full potential.

    27.10.2016 — 12:12Yes(0)No(0)Reply