- Ferrovial improved access to drinking water through the installation of solar panels.
- The graphics project was carried out by Colombian artists Miguel and José Luis Jiménez.
Ferrovial, the international infrastructures and services operator, has collaborated with the creative platform Sharpball on the creation of a graphic novel entitled El Salado, which tells of the recovery of a municipality in the Colombian region of Santander following a massacre that took place there in the year 2000. As part of its Social Infrastructures programme, Ferrovial carried out an ambitious project designed to improve access to drinking water for the local people. Sharpball, founded by brothers Miguel and José Luis Jiménez, is a trans-media developer of content inspired by the idiosyncrasies of Colombian culture.
The murder of nearly 70 people by paramilitaries in February of 2000 led to the exodus of virtually the entire population of El Salado to other parts of the country, many of whom returned years later in an effort to recover their homes and way of life and rebuild what infrastructures still existed in the area.
In El Salado, aside from refurbishing the existing water infrastructure using solar panels, we also helped mobilise the community in favour of improving access to and taking care of their water supply. The comic book El Salado is a form of artistic contribution to this project. We are very satisfied with this collaboration and of the impact the project has had on the recovery of coexistence in Colombia. El Salado is very symbolic for Colombians, and our participation in its recovery is very much appreciated.”
Colombian folklore as a way of understanding the El Salado tragedy
“The Saladeros [inhabitants of El Salado] inhabited a worldly paradise, surrounded by nature’s bounty and watched over by Los Encantos [traditional spirits], until the day they were forced to flee by the arrival of a terrible and violent invader, the gruesome Zaperoco. Years later, in the middle of a devastating drought, Francisco and Matilda return with the rest of their family and the other villagers to face their worst fears and, with the help of an unexpected ally, bring harmony once again to El Salado.” Such is the synopsis that Miguel and José Luis Jiménez use to introduce their tale. Based on magical realism, the story emphasises the importance of teamwork, of building a community, and of innovation as a means of finding solutions that help bring prosperity to areas like El Salado, one of Colombia’s poorest.
Please feel free to download the graphic novel at www.peacethroughwater.com.