Feminism: The children who transformed the macho street in their neighborhood with films by women filmmakers | To live | Back roads

‘An American in Paris’,’ The Jungle Book, ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘The Mississippi Mermaid’, ‘Titanic’ … they are all movies, but they are also the names of the streets of Valdespartera, a neighborhood of the Outskirts of Zaragoza where all its urban planning is related to the cinema. Valdespartera is a recently created neighborhood where more than 90% of its buildings are public housing. Couples who are now young couples who are beginning to have children moved there a couple of decades ago. The history of the neighborhood with the cinema goes back a long way. When the neighborhood was just a wasteland with a military barracks, the Americans arrived and chose it to shoot Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. And it is that in Zaragoza the film by Eduardo Jimeno Correas was filmed in 1897 ‘Departure from the mass of twelve of the Church of the Pilar of Zaragoza’, which is considered the first Spanish film.

When they inaugurated Valdespartera, the names of the streets surprised everyone. There were those who supported him and those who criticized him harshly, but, with the passage of time, most recognize that they have become one of the symbols of identity of this area of ​​the city maña. Everything happened more or less by chance, because while the names were being decided, the town hall received a letter suggesting that they put more street names related to the cinema. And finally all the streets have movie names.

A corner in the Valdespartera neighborhood / Cadena SER

After investigating, the 2nd grade students of the San Jorge public school have detected a problem that no one had noticed: all the streets they live on are named after movies directed by men and there is not a single female director or movie directed by a woman on the street. So they got to work to change this situation. The objective of this educational project, promoted by the teachers Laura Val Y Sara garrido of the CPI San Jorge, is to reflect on equality through what is closest to children: the streets.

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First, the children baptized the places in the neighborhood that had no names. So what was for them “the park below” became “The park for women in cinema”, for example. And they did the same with a dozen roads where you can now read names like The Cabbage Fairy, the way The bookstore, by Isabel Coixet, camino From your window to mine, by Paula Ortiz or the road Summer 1993by Carla Simón.

The mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, received the students of the CPI San Jorge de Valdespartera in the consistory to listen to their proposals / Cadena SER

But that was not enough. The children wanted the city council to take their proposal and the gender equality problem that existed in Valdespartera seriously, so they decided to write a letter to the mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, requesting that the changes to the street names be made formal. . Azcón received them at the town hall a few months ago and promised to take the matter to the plenary session of the city and visit the school. But they are still waiting.

This whole project about the role of women in the cinema and its history as a backdrop was born to promote gender equality. And about this, the class is very aware: “There is something, like folding pajamas, that I do more than my brother. And that’s unfair.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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