In Medellin one of the most impressive thing you will see is street art. Street art has a trans-formative power that always amazed me. It is magic; it is a powerful tool that can change the mind and the history of a city, or maybe a country. It has the potentiality to modify and invigorate the urban environment and at the same time be the speaker of a significant political and social change.
Street art can be considered as a form of social media, which existed before the internet, era and that can represent a particular message across, offering insight into a protest that you can live in the streets – a warning wind before an explosion of protests will come.
As already mentioned before you can see the immense power of street art in Medellin’s Comuna 13 – previously one of Colombia’s most dangerous neighborhoods! Comuna 13 was the battleground among gangs, narcos, paramilitaries and the government. Today it is different! It is one of the top area to visit in Medellin.
In the past, the residents that lived here thought that it was impossible to live a normal life there. They suffered a lot, terror and unimaginable hardships. The history did not help them in living a quiet life. They lived in a cycle of poverty and gang from which there was no way out.
Today, the law is back in the neighborhood andmany new projects and initiatives started in Comuna 13. Street art was the weapon used by young people to demonstrate their opinion in a time where it was difficult to express themselves freely – “Ev
ery day, in every way, things are getting better and better”
If you go to Medellin you have to visit comuna 13 and feel the energy of street art that is really one of the best things to do in Medellin. The art’s has the potential to re-imagine and re-energize an urban space that was otherwise lacking is on full display. Street Art is still very much ‘art’ and no style, rules or conventions seems to be the rule of street art. It can be define as figurative, abstractionist, text-based – you name it. Anyway or whatever you will think about this one common denominator becomes obvious after you have spent any time here: color! Everywhere you gaze the generic red bricks and grey walls, which dominate Medellín, are transformed into a color explosion. You feel the transformation of a city, of a reality that decided something had to change.
I will write another article on Medellin but this one is a gift to street art of protest, street art of a meaning!
And if you want to read another article on street art, see Barcelona article!