The first TEDx event held under a bridge unfolds in Madrid

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

Two years ago, TEDxMadrid organizer Antonella Broglia had an idea: organize a TEDx event under a bridge. Her choice — the Puente de Colores de San Cristóbal de los Ángeles in the San Cristóbal de los Ángeles neighborhood of Madrid. “Once a forgotten space, [the bridge] was re-painted by two artist collectives, Boa Mistura and Basurama, both speakers at TEDxMadrid 2012, together with the help of hundreds of people in the neighborhood and outside,” she says of the venue, “and the support of the citizen organizations in the area.”

They came together as part of a project called Autobarrios (Self-made neighborhoods). Autobarrios‘s mission was to transform an abandoned,ill-maintained public space into a vibrant gathering place for the San Cristóbal neighborhood. Says Boa Mistura of the project, “Due to its borders, [San Cristóbal] is an isolated urban frame: railways to the north and east direction, an A4 highway to the west, and an old Land Army Automobile park to the south … The only entrance and contact with the rest of the city is located underneath a bridge of the A4 highway … A large concrete infrastructure became the perfect place for the project of ‘Autobarrios.’”

Painting the San Cristóbal bridge (Photo courtesy Antonella Broglia)

Artists from Boa Mistura and Basurama paint the San Cristóbal bridge (Photo courtesy Antonella Broglia)

Painting the San Cristóbal bridge (Photo courtesy Antonella Broglia)

The San Cristóbal bridge redesign in process (Photo courtesy Antonella Broglia)

To Broglia, the project and the bridge represents revitalization in an area of her city once ignored and maltreated by outsiders. It represents a community gathering together to make change and enact projects in the space around them. Therefore, the bridge was the perfect venue for a TEDx event, she thought, a place to continue thinking, brainstorming and celebrating new ideas sprouting in San
Cristóbal

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

“[We wanted to] give back the pride to live there,” says Broglia, “and the results were spectacular … Sometimes this [TEDx] license is really a world-changing tool.”

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

The TEDxMadridSalon under the Puente San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

TEDxMadrid organizer Antonella Broglia onstage at the TEDxMadridSalon (Photo: TEDxMadrid)

Below, watch talks from the event (in Spanish):

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