Can Bogota’s state-sanctioned street art survive a crackdown by the new mayor?30 days ago
The Colombian capital decriminalised graffiti after protests following the fatal shooting of a 16 -year-old street artist at the hands of the police. Five years on, returning mayor Enrique Pealosa believes graffiti is a blight on the city
Jeff assembles us all along one side of the road, which isnt easy as there are around 60 of us and the street is narrow. A automobile drives by slowly, the windows open, two women leaning out.
Welcome to Colombia! they shout, as we all wave back.
Bogot is a mecca for graffiti artists, Jeff explains, standing beside a wall adorned with a mural of a bright green chameleon. There are over 8,000 active street artists in the city.
I had imagined, turning up for a graffiti tour of Bogot at 10 am on a Friday morning in February, that there would be a handful of people at most. Perhaps Id be the only one. But news of Bogots street art has spread far and wide and it is a huge group of us that constructs its style through the tangled back streets of the old part of the city, under the watchful eye of Colombian anthropology student Jeff.
Bogot already had a thriving graffiti scene when in 2011 something terrible happened last changed everything. It was the turning point in Bogot graffiti history, says Jeff.
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