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Who is Andrea Gusart?
After five years working in Barcelona and Madrid as a creative copywriter, I swapped brands for people and I just returned from Africa, where I created ‘Made in Kibera: Stories on the Move’, a creative, artistic and social idea, along with other colleagues and the local community, working as a volunteer.
Traveller, and not a tourist. Mediterranean. Lover of the sea, of going barefoot and walking on dewy grass. Passionate about ideas, stories and tales; the internet, well done creative projects and meticulous design; fashion, interior design and decorating; the simple, human and pretty.
You dared to leave your entire life in Madrid behind to go to Africa. How did you do it?
I think I am too restless and I am overly attracted to challenges… I’m addicted to seeing new places, cultures and people, to emotions and learning. I wanted to prove to myself that the power of ideas goes beyond the field of advertising.
Music, artists, poetry… Tell us what the Made in Kibera project is all about.
‘Made in Kibera: Stories on the Move’ is a movement that was created to sing, dance and recite to the world that there is not only poverty, violence and unemployment in Kibera, there is also ART. It’s an initiative that lets artists in the largest slum in Africa live from their talent, because through the internet you can order a personalised song in exchange for financial remuneration. To ensure the project’s continuity, they are raising funds to create a recording studio in the slum, which will generate jobs, offer sustainable rates and give them independence.
There’s still a lot to do in Kibera, right?
A lot doesn’t even start to express it. Kibera is a shantytown of tin and adobe with approximately one million inhabitants (not even the government knows that), which lacks rubbish collection, running water, toilets, kitchens and public sanitation. Thousands of families from different tribes and religions coexist in this place battered by poverty and disease, and it rarely appears in the media.
Organisations like Más Por Ellos (the Spanish NGO supporting this initiative) fight each and every day to educate and empower the people, committed to teaching and enterprise as the engine for change, and creating projects that are started and endure by the will and effort of the local community itself.
What learnings have you taken from your experience?
That humour is the same in Kibera as in Cuenca! After filming in the slum for so many hours, we ended up all joking around with each other. I was also fascinated by their way of working and positive attitude toward the project and the difficulties. Undoubtedly, they are an example to follow for the whingers and haters in the first world. I will never forget what they did for me. Not the other way round.
Did your background in advertising help you deal with this interesting and artistic project?
The fact that creativity was placed at the service of such a great cause is just fascinating and incredible… Ideas are marvellous and can also be used to make people aware, convey attitudes and try to change situations. I think that in general terms, many NGOs have shortcomings that make dialogue with the people in the field difficult, like technicalities and the lack of creativity in communicating the projects. If only all the creatives in the world were motivated to develop an idea for free at least once.
What is your advice for everyone who would like to change their lives, but are scared to take the leap?
That they pay attention to those thoughts that pop into their head one day and won’t go away. These thoughts are the good ones. You’ve got to listen to them. Just like feelings, energies and sensations, whatever you want to call them, but the person who follows their hunches and intuition doesn’t tend to make mistakes. And if that doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. I think that everything happens for a reason and you’ve got to try.
What does it mean to you to be part of People for the Future?
That I’m involved in an initiative that questions established values, fights for change and longs to have an impact on the future… Because the passion, strength and hope of all of us who are part of this movement cannot end up being in vain.
I am happy to be part of the amalgam of PFTF’s authentic, original, brave, handcrafted and local projects, driven forward and led by passionate and optimistic people.
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"