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    Estatutos de "Ciudad Solar", Cali, Colombia, 1971
    [16] leaves
    Typed sheet – Other
    "Estatuto de "Ciudad Solar," 1971. Typed manuscript. Courtesy of Hernando Guerrero, Cali, Colombia.
    art; corporations; photography; printmaking
    Corporación Ciudad Solar (Cali, Colombia)

In 1971, a group of young adults (20–26 years old) in Cali led by Hernando Guerrero, a photographer and editor, set up an independent space to promote creative projects in the visual and graphic arts, photography, and film. In order to make this initiative official, they legally organized as a cultural association and obtained recognition of their legal personality from the Cauca Valley government on June 25, 1971. Their bylaws were set forth in six chapters and 37 articles that describe Ciudad Solar’s purposes and assets, the rights and duties of the members, and its decision-making bodies. The bylaws also specify the duties of the committees in charge of graphic arts, pre-Columbian crafts and legacy, documentation and publications, film and photography, as well as programming and advertising. These were approved by the board of directors of Ciudad Solar, a not-for-profit association with Guerrero as president, Francisco Ordoñez as treasurer, Miguel González handling public relations, and Bolivian Willy Coronel as secretary. According to its bylaws, Ciudad Solar was organized as a union of private individuals involved in the arts for the purpose of promoting artistic expression and establishing links between cultural groups and activities. The association would also support studies and “scientific research” on art and the social sciences. Finally, a select group of 79 people, made up of young filmmakers, literati, and photographers ([many still] well known in Colombia today), as well as representatives of the Cauca Valley cultural authorities, signed as founders, benefactors, and participants in the project. 


Ciudad Solar was an unprecedented experience of arts promotion in Colombia, particularly because a group of young artists committed themselves to a project of creation and promotion to be carried out while living in an arts community. This document presents the purposes and organization of the first phase of Ciudad Solar (1971–73). In theory, the project sought to promote the graphic arts, film, and photography by creating one permanent visual arts exhibition space and another space for performance (theater, puppetry, poetry, literature, dance, lectures, competitions, round tables, seminars, etc.), a film society, a darkroom and a processing lab for experimental cinematography, and a journal.

Hernando Guerrero (born 1948), president of the board of directors, obtained the sponsorship of his family and was able to borrow a needed house in the La Merced district to be used for Ciudad Solar headquarters. From the list of projects described on paper, the ones that were carried out included the Cali Film Society coordinated by Andrés Caicedo (1951–77), Luis Ospina (born 1949), Ramiro Arbeláez (born 1952), Hernando Guerrero, and Jaime Acosta. In the Galería de Arte, Miguel González (born 1950) scheduled a year of exhibitions; also, printmaker Phanor León (1944–2006) coordinated a silkscreen workshop. Moreover, a photography laboratory donated by Carlos Mayolo (1945–2007) stimulated the work of photographers such as: Eduardo Carvajal (born 1949), Gertjan Bartelsman (born 1949), Juan Fernando Ordóñez (1952–1977), and Francisco “Pakiko" Ordóñez (born 1949). Finally, Ciudad Solar produced a film (a work in progress) Angelita y Miguel Ángel [Michelangelo and she the Little Angel],codirected by Caicedo and Mayolo. Although making the film strengthened the work in the community, it also led to a rupture between the two directors, each of whom had his own approach to the conclusion.

In 1973, the group broke up. Living together in what was popularly known as “Ciudad Sollar” (sollar or trabar: the state of lethargy or stimulation induced by marijuana) along with Guerrero’s trip to Europe, destroyed the project. In Cali’s El Peñón neighborhood, “Pakiko” Ordóñez assumed the direction of the next phase (1974–78), working with his brother, Juan Fernando as well as with Herrera, Bartelsman, and León.  

Katia González Martínez
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Hernando Guerrero, Cali, Colombia