This second programme in the series, A Call to Art explores Latin America’s visceral and complex street art. Graffiti artists use their access to public space to pose questions and provoke criticism of what the papers are afraid to say – as well as transforming maligned communities into places of colour and pride.
Colombia is coming to terms with a truce after 50 years of civil war while, in Mexico, street artists promote local pride in places like Tijuana that are often seen as merely a trampoline into the US. Both countries are internally plagued by drug cartels, violence and corruption. It’s an environment where the street art scene has exploded.
DJLu, a Bogota native and spray can veteran, explains how street art is “taking the tension and violence to the wall and not to the real arena.” But not everyone agrees. Señor Rayon feels that guerrilla groups’ slogans are political marketing and questions whether this is an appropriate use of public space.
In a climate of fierce censorship and division in Mexico City, journalist and graffiti expert Cynthia Arvide explains why graffiti can be a “silent yet more powerful protest”.
Producers – Louise Morris, Andrew McGibbon
Film Editor – Nick Romero
Field Broadcast Assistant – Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn
Dubbing Voice – Luís Bonilla
Executive Producer – Sarah Cuddon
A Curtains for Radio production for BBC Radio 4