The Mexican architect telling stories to children during the pandemic
“From the house to the public square,” is a project started by architect Percibald Garcia, who focuses on social production building and entertains children trapped inside during coronavirus.
“Kids have been the forgotten ones throughout all this time,” said Percibald García, while explaining the coronavirus pandemic from an adult’s perspective.
The thought first came to his head a couple months ago when a young neighbor broke the silence of quarantine with a shout.
"I'm bored," yelled a boy from his balcony.
In response, García’s almost romantic initiative of bringing short stories to children’s windows was created. Its main objective was to entertain kids during the lockdown, but also to help their voices be heard without shouting.
He explained that people tend to think about children as developing adults, forgetting they are innocent individuals whose childhood, just like our lives, have stopped overnight.
According to García, during the global pandemic, children’s voices have been “erased in the process of transitioning to the new normal.”
His project is an attempt to build a sense of community throughout the narratives and stories the architect tells.
“Cities are made by individuals who interact with one another,” explained Percibald, making clear the connections that exist between constructing a new building and understanding the needs of all its inhabitants, even the youngest.
Storytelling becomes a bond that eases interaction. It’s the way García has found to connect people without leaving their places
“One day a kid came down and asked me if I could read a short story written by him,” he said with a smile on his face. “After all that’s the main objective. Help children understand that a public square is a place where citizens can interact and be heard.”
Not only does the initiative help the weakest voices to be heard, but it’s also a way to promote reading among children who have forgotten about books and do not grasp life without an internet connection.
“It’s a practice that my grandmother inherited from me and that I would like to share with the new generations,” Gracía said.
“I’m doing this because I want it to be a better community,” said García, a Tlatelolco resident, an emblematic neighborhood in Mexico City since pre-Hispanic times.
Although the storytelling usually doesn’t last more than half an hour, the stories that are told help kids to overcome the loneliness cornered by the lockdown.