The Great palm-tree. A Victory column, 2018
Project developed during Cristina Iglesias workshop at Fundation Botín, Santander, 2018
© Archivo documental Fundación Botín
With the return of the Indianos to the north of Spain after losing the Cuba War in 1898 there is a change in the symbolism of the palm tree – from "Victoria" to "Opulence" - due to the use of this tree as a private monument and exaltation of wealth. A century later, in the book "Parks and gardens of Santander", by Enrique L. Escallada appears a black and white photograph of La Gran Palmera de "El Retiro", the starting point of this project.
The Great Palm Tree is an artistic project to propose a victory column as an anti-monument for the city of Santander to claim the traditional symbolism of this tree and to question the term victory from the contemporaneity, separating it from its traditional political connotation to associate it to another important issue such as global warming.
The decision-making during this project is carried out in a participatory way through conversations with neighbors of Santander where we reflect about this topic. The neighbors are also asked to add ideas and changes directly on the first sketches.
The result is a victory column with a two-piece pedestal made from recycled plastic and shipping containers. The trunk of a palm tree, planted from the Great Palm Tree would form the column.
The Great Palm Tree. The Victory column is therefore a desire for victory in the context of global warming that is said not to have a turning back. A desire to see the new Great Palm grow up on the land where she has to live.