Backroom Caracas existed between 2013 and 2017. My name is Rody Douzoglou and I was the Founding Director and facilitator of this experiment at the intersection of culture, art, and community. My biggest satisfaction was working with a team of young women who gave it their all. Natasha Tiniacos, Florencia Alvarado, Gaëlle Smits, and Marianela Díaz Cardozo were the mojo behind it. Those who came later carried the baton ever so graciously: Gabriela Mesones Rojo, Elvira Blanco Santini, Enza García Arreaza, Lennis Rojas, and Mika Albornoz. (Yes, men and institutions participated too. Please go to our About us section and read our long list of contributors.)
Our website started like any blank page and with the help of Venezuelan talent, it grew as if on steroids. Andrea Ayala—our web-designer—taught me how design can be a powerful tool for the creative process. This “page” became our pride and a boundless online publication with her aid. Backroom Caracas 2.0’s last stretch brought out the best in all of us, even under the most distraught conditions.
This publication was dreamt, thought, ordered, written, and published in Spanish (this foreword was not). Diligently translating most everything into English has been a months-long project carried out by Elvira Blanco and Marianela Díaz Cardozo at the helm. Still, I wonder, was it fair to the work here archived? How can we translate tone, mode, idiosyncrasy, heart, and soul? But I also know this treasure chest must be shared with the world by taking that step. I strongly encourage you to immerse in each piece in its native tongue—Spanish.
Backroom Caracas was also a place for many live experiences. We offered workshops with American artists at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (FAU-UCV). La Silla del Diablo—an agreement we signed with the FAU-UCV—became a space for sharing and questioning. We overcame obstacles with growing support from many institutions. Exhibitions, talks, workshops, visits from experts, and forums kept us busy. The gratitude I draw from the Backroom experience is profound; I was able to feel deep generosity. Thanks to all the people who became involved in each of these experiences and brought them to life.
Along the way, I learned that I am bold in materializing visions and objectives. I also learned that the magic happens only when I include the vision, desires, knowledge, and truth of those who decide to come along with me.
I now live in New York City, yet still find myself deeply connected to Venezuela, a country mired in tyranny. As an homage, I want this website to serve as a time capsule, even as testimony, on how beauty, freedom, and truth can coexist when we choose to dwell in them.
I now invite you to explore us. This space lived, breathed, and grew in the tropics: feverishly.