Last time I visited Cartagena, I wasn’t expecting to find that much street art. Inside the old city walls, there is little space for graffiti; given its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the Getsemaní district is a different story. In colonial times, this was the area where the African people who were brought as slaves used to live. When slavery was abolished, the neighborhood retained its working class status.

In Getsemaní that working class character is still present today. But there is a major shift happening as a growing number of hostels, restaurants and bars are flourishing in the area; attracting more travelers. At least those who can’t afford or prefer not to pay the higher prices of accommodation inside Cartagena’s old city walls. Some of that is reflected on the walls of Getsemaní, as calls encouraging resistance.

Street art in Cartagena, Colombia Street art in Cartagena, Colombia

Also, many of the graffiti that I saw pay tribute to Pedro Romero, a Cuban artisan of African descent who played a key role in Cartagena’s struggle for independence from Spain.[Edit August 2013]These works are part of the 2010 project Pedro Romero Vive Aquí. Since there are no visual records of Pedro Romero, this initiative was an invitation to several artists to portray him. Now, a couple of centuries after his lifetime, his memory lives on in Getsemaní on many of the murals found in Calle de la Sierpe (Snake Street; or calle 29 if you ask Google Maps).

Another cool find on that same street, are the faces of London-based artist Fin DAC; who during a recent trip to Colombia went around adding some color to some of the most neglected barrios in Colombia. According to his own words, “I create my art to keep myself happy. If others like it then that’s a great by-product”. If you’d like to see more photos of my time in Cartagena, you can visit my gallery.

Fin DAC street art in Cartagena, Colombia

Have you been to Cartagena? Have you seen some more cool street art? If you have an interesting link, let me know in the comments below.

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❤︎ Colombia ❤︎

10 COMMENTS

  1. Street art is one of the fuels that keep our current travel burning brightly.

    We’ve not been experiencing so much over here in South East Asia over the last few weeks, so this post keeps me happy & reminds me of the differences in culture from country to country, continent to continent.

    • I feel the same way, Dale :) I was not expecting to find such nice street art in Cartagena; but what really got me was what I found in Barranquilla! Stay tuned for that one, I’m sure that between the street art and carnival you guys won’t be able to resist stopping by sometime soon!

  2. Bianca,
    La intervención que abre tu artículo fue hecha por mí, gracias por elegirla para ilustrarlo.
    Las intervenciones fueron producto de la iniciativa del colectivo http://pedroromeroviveaqui.com/ del que sería interesante conocieras porque tiene más intervenciones en el espacio público que pueden ser de tu interés.

    Abrazo desde Cartagena

    • Hola Ruben,
      Muchas gracias por la información del colectivo Pedro Romero Vive Aquí. Siempre intento incluir información sobre los artistas y los proyectos de arte urbano que voy encontrando, pero a veces no es fácil encontrar la información. He editado el post para incluir los datos del proyecto. Ojalá la próxima vez que esté en Cartagena pueda ver más de las iniciativas de este colectivo. Gracias por compartir!
      Saludos desde Perú :)

  3. Hi Bianca,

    It is really nice to see your post. I am currently working on a project which is to build a new art center for Cartagena. One of the big idea is that create a free and open studio space or working space for this kind of street art artist. Since I have never been to Cartagena, I am wondering how popular this kind of street art is in Cartagena? Are the artists there suffering a situation the lack of space to produce street art? What do you think of the general proposal of providing the artists free working spaces?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Best regards,
    Zach

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