ARTISTLOVE, when art and love cross borders

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Laura Morral
Artistlove has made artistic interventions in Brazil.

Artistlove has made artistic interventions in Brazil.

This entity develops participatory art interventions around the world and promotes personal and collective development in each community where it acts.

Language is not the only communication channel that can be understood. There are other ways of expression that unite people and communities without speaking the same language. Ferran Tort knows it very well. He is the president of the entity ARTISTLOVE, an association that is dedicated to fostering social transformation through participatory artistic interventions. The objective is to promote, through art, the personal and community development of the people who participate in each one of the projects.
And what does that mean? Tort explains that the artistic and participatory projects that are created from his entity add value beyond painting. "We wanted to use art as a mediation tool. For this reason, we started introducing coaching sessions to the interventions. Painting, right now, is an excuse", says Tort. Add: "We believe that art and love are universal languages ​​that unite cultures and that is what we want to bring to people," explains the president.
ARTISTLOVE has three areas of action: educational, health and community. The first, called 'School Walls', is designed for schools and is aimed at children and adolescents. "The idea is to redesign the spaces of schools among all the agents of the educational community," explains Tort. Whether in Barcelona or in schools around the world, the methodology is always participative but the intervention and painting processes adapt to each one of the local contexts and the lines of action of each associated entity or group.
The other area is the sanitary one. The 'Health Center Walls' project decorates sanitary spaces with the participation, also, of the community linked to the hospitals. "Through a collective idea with the community, the main theme of the mural is determined," says Tort.
The last area is the community, aimed at different communities of a particular place. ARTISTLOVE carried out the first experience in this area in a favela in Brazil. The project was called 'Morro das Cores'. "We managed to create a community link and strengthen the feeling of belonging of the people in that space that was previously forgotten," says the founder himself.
In this community project, three levels of action are included. The first one, explains Tort, is the painting itself, the co-creation of artistic interventions. The second is the 'Restart', designed so that people find their dream and draw up a concrete action plan to achieve their goals and the third level is advice (mentoring), that is, individual follow-up the people who have participated in the project.
ARTISTLOVE's idea emerged in 2012 in Senegal although the first "formal" performance was in Thailand. Since then, the association has done projects in Colombia, Brazil, India, Catalonia, Peru and Sri Lanka. ARTISTLOVE has no beneficiaries and always works in collaboration with other local entities and groups. The development of projects in Catalonia allows, on the one hand, to co-finance the international cooperation action of the entity and, on the other, to sensitize, on the return, the participants through the experiences acquired during the cooperation. 
The challenge of the entity for 2019 is to develop projects in the five continents. To do this, you are looking for collaborators through projects promoted by schools and health centers, by the hand of local public administrations and through CSR actions of responsible companies.

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