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canal*GITANO, 2005

GITANO*channel, 2005
Media installation, 15 prints: 229 x 126.5 cm each; 1 touch screen: 30 x 55 x 45 cm

Since 2004, the project of Antoni Abad has ben inviting socially vulnerable groups of people, those often ignored by the official media, to express their opinions and share their experiences. Using mobile phones, the different groups record and immediately publish online audio and video messages, texts and photos. These have included taxi drivers in Mexico City (2004), young Gypsies in Lleida and León (2005), prostitutes in Madrid (2005), Nicaraguan immigrants in San José, Costa Rica (2006), motorcycle messengers or motoboys in São Paulo (2007), displaced people in Colombia (2009), young people in Saharan refugee camps near Tindouf in Algiers (2009) and Latino and Asian immigrants in the Borough of Queens in New York (2011).

Antoni Abad has done all the groundwork with each of these communities: he has made contact with them, initiated the project and organised regular consensual meetings, following the model of an editorial board. Although those recruited had similar profiles and constituted potential communities, they did not have any previous contact between them and, in most cases, did not regard themselves as a group. Portraits of the project participants were presented at MACBA in the exhibition Antoni Abad.–2014 (2014). Some of the exhibits in the exhibition are part of the MACBA Collection: sitio*TAXI, Mexico City, 2004/2013 (2004), Canal*GITANO, Lleida, 2005 (2005) and BARCELONA*accessible, Barcelona, 2006–2013 (2006).

Canal* GITANO, Lleida, 2005 was the second experience: a project that gathered the views and experiences of twenty young Gypsies in public and private spaces in Lleida. Armed with mobile phones with integrated cameras, they became reporters on their own reality. Via multimedia messages (video, audio, photo and text) and telephone conversations, they coordinated the publication on the Internet, and in real time, of prearranged audiovisual channels. The fact that they were young people meant questioning the authority of the Gypsy patriarchs, who, according to ancient Romani tradition, are the only ones who can assume the role of chroniclers. Internal collective negotiations in this regard were very fruitful. After several months, the experience was repeated in the city of León.

Over the first ten years of the project, 254 people participated and generated 61,072 posts or broadcasts, in a paradigmatic and repeatedly awarded case of interaction between art, the digital community and the social fabric ((

Technical details

Original title:
Registration number:
Abad, Antoni
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Media installation
Inkjet print on plastic and tactile screen
15 prints: 229 x 126.5 cm each; 1 touch screen: 30 x 55 x 45 cm
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Long-term loan of the artist
© Antoni Abad, VEGAP, Barcelona
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