Cuenta la naranja urbana (Tales of the Urban Orange)

--- is an ongoing project in collaboration with Sara Yaoska Herrera Dixon.

Cuenta la naranja urbana weaves together scripted and spontaneous stories around the oranges growing on the trees of the Sant Andreu del Palomar neighbourhood in Barcelona.

Between the mountains and the sea, the streets of Sant Andreu are lined with oranges. The smell fragrant, the fruit hanging heavy on the trees. Yet the pavement is sticky with slowly rotting fruit. The urban orange is not eaten.

Sant Andreu grows 35% of all of Barcelona’s orange trees, with 2983 orange trees in total. This bitter fruit is a common one here now, but has a tangled history, travelling across countries and continents, and originating in Northern India. The word ‘orange’ has travelled with the fruit, through languages of Latin, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. With this journey, the orange has shifted in status, moving from a fruit of the nobility to a fruit for the community. These bitter fruit here are public fruit, growing in common spaces. A fruit for the collective. The urban orange is for everyone.

Cuenta la naranja urbana invites people of all ages from the Sant Andreu del Palomar neighbourhood to take part in a process of making this bitter orange edible. Together we will collect oranges from the trees, clean them and use them to make marmalade and a bitter orange cocktail. As we pick, wash, cut, juice, stir, heat, mix, taste, eat and drink, we will share stories with each other, wrapping the oranges in stories of their histories, tracing possible myths, sharing recipes, recounting poems and performing imagined futures. Moving between fact and fiction, we will invite everyone to share their own stories. As we share the oranges with each other, dissecting the fruit to make something new, we will weave together a common space of storytelling.