Within the next few months at least 58 people will be assassinated in a massive Lavapiés murder mystery game. You can join the mayhem by being a victim, a witness or even a suspect. If you find the murderers, you’ll receive a prize. And the best news of all is that you can sign up to be assassinated right now! Hey, it isn’t an offer you get every day.
Julien Charlon, a French photographer who is deeply in love with this neighborhood, watched ‘The Godfather’ and, for reasons that might always be unknown to us, decided that this was exactly what his beloved Lavapiés needed. His newest project, Lavapiés 58, will be a giant ‘Clue-like’ game involving hundreds of participants.
In this way, Julien is trying to unite his neighbors and the rest of Madrid and spur them to see their barrio from a different point of view. He himself stresses that his projects are against any kind of violence and that he only wishes to have fun. That being said, placing a murder game in a slightly volatile but incredibly hip barrio surely gives it an interesting edge.
The game will be entirely situated in Lavapiés: that is where the crimes will take place and where you will eventually have to find your leads. Victims, suspects and detectives can come from all over Madrid, though. After the 58th murder, a ‘Book of the Dead’ with victims’ photos and possible leads will be published and put up for sale. And that is when the real game begins: everybody can get the book and start investigating. A piece of evidence in a photograph, a telephone number, a mysterious contact and even YouTube videos might be leads: being a detective sure ain’t easy.
The first part of the game, the preparation, has just begun. We’ll keep you updated on the proceedings and as soon as the investigation begins, we’ll let you know. For now, Julien needs people who…um… want to be murdered or don’t mind having their pictures put up on a ‘wanted’ list. You even get to choose how you will lose your life. All you need to do is send an email and as a bonus you get to keep the picture of your own death. Remember, it’s for the good of Lavapiés.
Article first published on www.MAPmagazine.com, Spring 2008