So who knew that Colombia is one of the hot new scenes for street art? We certainly didn’t, but glad we found out! Online forums are raving about the scene and some rank it in the top ten places in the world!
Particularly, Cartagena and Bogota have really dynamic street art scenes – supposedly so does Cali, but we weren’t there to check it out. In Bogota, it’s difficult to not see all the graffiti everywhere – particularly in the Candelaria district and downtown area. For Cartagena, it’s mostly in the now trendy Getsemani district and less so in the old town or San Diego area.
In both cities, we recommend taking street art tours to better understand what you are looking at – particularly since some of the most interesting pieces have historical or cultural references.
Both tours we took were free but request donations. And on both we learnt tons! About the local areas, their history, and the current political and social issues and all through the medium of street art.
We won’t repeat everything we learned here (not only will we do a bad job of it, but we would still recommend the actual tours to help the local areas and their art scenes). However a few teasers:
1. Due to the wealth in the city and the increased tourism, the once working class neighbourhood of Getsemani is going through significant social and cultural change – the resistance to such is expressed through street art.
2. One of Bogota’s street artists, DJ Lu, is known as the Colombian/Latin American Banksy, due to his ironic political messages.
3. Justin Bieber had a part in making the Colombian street art scene what it is today (yes, seriously).
On that note, here’s some more cool images (what this post is actually about). . .