Windows reflect public space and enable us to peek into the stories behind them. There is one thing unique to windows in Bogotá: the iron bars in front of them. Beautifully designed, handcrafted, decorated, and full of creativity. In a dangerous city they protect and honor the meaning of ‘home.’ But bars also awaken the impression of imprisonment. They secure, but in doing so they lock us inside, reinforcing the concept of a dangerous outside. Pretty prisons, but prisons nonetheless. These symbols represent 45 iron bar patterns discovered in different parts of Bogotá.
Traveling to Germany in 2013, I was surprised by the various windows I could observe — and how different they were from what I knew. I grew up with windows that have grates, for me beautiful grates, thought-through grates, decorated grates, grates full of creativity, grates that protect.