I grew up in Southern California, a place no stranger to graffiti. I have personally seen the evolution of this art form. I remember as a kid, in the 80’s, graffiti was not considered an art. This is due to the association of graffiti with gangs. In Southern California graffiti is still very heavily associated with gangs, and is still a very heavily punished crime.
Graffiti in Medellin
The graffiti I’ve seen in Medellin, for the most part, is associated with the two rival football clubs here, Club Atlético Nacional and Deportivo Independiente Medellín. Of course one will find gang related graffiti sometimes, but it’s not as noticeable as it is in Southern California, this is probably because most neighborhoods have what are called conviviencias (local neighborhood watch gangs).
Last Friday I saw one of the coolest things I’ve seen a city do to raise public art awareness, some 70 artists begin to fill San Juan Avenue’s pavement with graffiti. Medellin is a canvas to many young artists where they express the struggles and victories of everyday life in this marvelous city. The artists gathered for 24 hours in a peaceful demonstration of culture through graffiti art.
Medellin having been named the worlds most innovative city in 2013 has really shown to be progressive with such a touchy subject. Allowing artists to come as one and express their art with the intention to raise awareness is pretty amazing. You can see the artwork near the San Juan underpass nicknamed “San Juan’s Depression”. I recommend you go during the day, and if you take a camera try not to “give too much papaya”.
For information on upcoming graffiti art events in Medellin I recommend you like this page: https://www.facebook.com/graffitidela5
About the Medellin Buzz
The Medellin Buzz is lighthearted news and current event source for English as a Second Language learners in Medellin, Colombia. The Medellin Buzz is written in a way that is easy to understand.