We truly loved our time in Colombia – the people, the culture, the landscape…even the food was a cut above the rest (of the rice and beans)!
One of the real highlights of our very brief but fantastic 3 weeks here came in the unexpected form of a street art tour around Bogotá’s historical centre – La Candelaria.
We’re huge fans of walking tours in general. Find a good one and they’re free, fun, informative and a great way to meet people and pick up tips for things to do in a new destination. Ideally, we try to do them on the first morning we arrive in a new place – mainly for the orinetation (we’re terrible map-readers!).
We particularly loved our morning with Bogotá Graffiti Tour.
These guys base their tour around some of the incredible street art, murals, statues and sculptures that can be found daubed all over La Candelaria’s walls, giving a fresh approach to the classic concept of a city tour. Rather than focusing on the history of the city, they give you an amazing introduction to Bogotá as told by its artists and activists – and provide some excellent photo opportunities!
These are all pieces of art that you come across on any stroll around Bogotá. The astute observer may pick up on similarities between different murals – artistic styles, colours, similar themes for example. But, once you start listening to the backgrounds of the artists and the motivations behind each piece, your eyes are opened to the incredible political and social messages hidden in plain sight.
The struggles and persecution of indigenous communities in Colombia, and Latin America generally, are picked up on in so many ways.
Similarly, the influence (interference) of North America and international fruit companies are hugely prevalent – bananas depicted as rifles and pineapple-grenades were my particular favourites.
Street art is such an incredible form of expression. It’s fluid, current, attractive and relevant. From tags and stencils to huge murals, artists all over Bogotá are free to express their opinions on the city’s walls. It’s not technically legal, but what fun would anarchy be if it were legit?
Check out Bogotá Graffiti Tours for more information on their walking tours, the work they do with local artists and more information about the pieces pictured in this post!