Caracas, Venezuela

Team │ Stefan Gzyl, Béla Kunckel, Gerardo Rojas, Oriana Coello, Ana Valenzuela.
Cultural Production │ Goethe-Institut, Deutsches Architekturmuseum.
Strategy & Graphic Design│ Yonel Hernández and Eddymir Briceño.
Photography │Edgar Martínez.
Video │ Kyril Elneser, Ezequiel Carías.
Media Campaign │Abraham Araujo.
Press and Communications│ Marisela Montes, Desriee De Pablos.
Performance Management │ Diana Volpe, Carlos Fabian Medina.
Production Assistant │ Raúl Moreno.
Collaborators │ Francesca Bonalda, Gabriela Gamboa, Javier Pereira, Laura Saldarriaga, Francisco Schutte, Stewart Solorzano, Alfonso Torres, Pedro Tortello.
Consultants │ María Valentina González, Garcilaso Pumar, Josymar Rodríguez, Iván González Viso.
Allies │ Cultura Chacao, Centro Cultural Chacao, Centro de Arte Los Galpones, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, UCV, Vintage Market, Alexa Palacios, Rafael and Mirtha Haliwa.

For five hundred years Venezuela was a receptor of immigration. From the arrival of the first Europeans in 1498 until 1999, when Hugo Chávez came to power, successive waves of immigrants contributed to shape an open, culturally hybrid society that easily integrated newcomers and rapidly incorporated new references and identities, a true and ever-changing melting pot. In this context, the recent and massive migration of Venezuelan citizens has been an unprecedented phenomenon, one for which the country has not been prepared and whose consequences and impact are both visible and quantifiable relevant.     Multiple sources estimate that by the end of 2018 over four and a half million citizens had left the country (roughly 15% of the population). This massive exodus is transforming fundamental aspects of our cities and way of life, leaving behind a void with which those who remain are obligated to coexist, a void that assumes multiple forms (from fear and anxiety to expectation and opportunity), a void that is continuously reconfigured and transformed out of what remains and with those who remain.

Project structure
In 2018 the Goethe-Institut together with the Deutsches Architekturmuseum and the German team of the Venice Biennale 2016, invited designers and curators from several cities around the world to take part in a project centered on human migrations. Within the framework of Making Heimat: Germany, Arrival Country, each team was requested to both reproduce the original German exhibition for the Venice Biennale and generate new and relevant content related to the topic of human migrations.PLAN B: Caracas, Departure City is based the concept of Arrival City and the structure of Making Heimat, developing the term Departure City as well as proposing eight “theses” of its own, each one relating to an urban or social condition of our city. In turn, each thesis was reinterpreted as a temporary installation that “migrated” around the city of Caracas during February 2019.

PLAN B: Caracas, Departure City aims at making evident how mass migration is changing the city and how we inhabit it, by considering the notion of void in its multiple expressions as well as exploring concepts such as belonging, memory, transit and the privatization of public space. The project seeks to establish an original and critical perspective on the least explored side of migration phenomena: what is left behind. Instead of focusing on the Venezuelan diaspora, its numbers or stories PLAN B: Caracas, Departure City sets out by asking about the fate of what remains behind, a city in a process of permanent destabilization and dissolution, a city of remnants and incomplete stories no longer able to recognize itself, a city that has not considered what opportunities and lessons, if any, can be learned from its present condition.

Departure City theses
Thesis 1: The Departure City is unattainable
Thesis 2: The Departure City was an arrival city
Thesis 3: The Departure City has shifting codes
Thesis 4: The Departure City is transitory
Thesis 5: The Departure City is a city without a city
Thesis 6: The Departure City has someone to look after it
Thesis 7: The Departure City is unstable
Thesis 8: The Departure City is a city in many cities