In a globalized world in full upheaval, security is now a central issue. States and cities are responding with digital surveillance that is now omnipresent. At the same time, massive urbanization is putting large urban centers under pressure and revealing growing social and spatial inequalities. These two elements deeply affect our social contract, the way we live together, the public and private space and the rights of everyone.

In a climate marked by fear and mistrust, many people believe that a choice must now be made between security and freedom, considering that an increase in one necessarily leads to a decrease in the other.

Faced with this polarized and binary context, we are convinced that we should not choose between security and freedom, but that the solution is to be found in the COMMON GROUNDS, these intermediate spaces, physical or symbolic common grounds in which trust and belonging are built, which are essential for communities to flourish.

With Medellin as a first step, MATZA EGELANDS invited eleven Colombian and international artists to explore the local social contract and to imagine new forms of it in the dynamic yet deeply divided context of Colombian society. Drawing on the country’s recent history and the creativity and innovations that have transformed the city’s territory in recent years, COMMON GROUNDS seeks to explore the spaces of possible change in the urban tensions of Medellin today.

MATZA EDGELANDS is a new initiative of MATZA conceived in close collaboration with the EDGELANDS Institute of Harvard University. Planned over four years, it will take place successively in the cities of Medellin, Nairobi, Geneva, Chicago, Singapore and Beirut (2021-2024). By focusing on city centers as well as their peripheries, MATZA and the EDGELANDS Institute will combine the scientific rigor of the academic world with the creativity of art to seek to build together a methodology that can stimulate new ways of living together.

From January 31 to February 18, 2022, the first stage of the project will take place in Medellin. A camp built inside the art space Bodega Confama will serve as a place to live, work and exhibit. COMMON GROUNDS is the title of this first stage and the exhibition that will follow from February 18 to March 20, 2022.