Graffiti culture in Colombia: Cartagena

Last week we had an incredible trip to the Colombian Caribbean Coast, we went to the traditional neighborhood of Getsemani in the colorful Cartagena, while I was walking and admiring the beautiful view I was talking with a Chinese friend of mine about different aspects of our Colombian culture, she pointed out we were always with a big smile on our faces and we were very positive despite the drawbacks we could have, she said me that probably the hardest cultural shock she had with the Colombian culture was the lack of discipline and punctuality, but with the time, she had experienced how that indiscipline was manifested in some creative and unique ways as the graffiti which is spreading more and more in Colombia.

The graffiti is a cultural, social and communicative action that is present and actively engages people in the metropolitan environment. This graffiti culture is so widely spread in our culture that you will find it in every big city, what is interesting about the graffiti found in Cartagena is that not only reflects the creativity of its people but the history behind that iconic district.

For example the picture behind is from a graffiti about Pedro Romero, he was one mulatto who led a large group of blacks and mulattos, who were called The Getsemani Lancers, and thanks to them was declared the absolute independence of Cartagena de Indias.

On the other hand, it is very interesting to see the amount of new street artists in Colombia, in the following picture you can see a graffiti from a mermaid and there is a signature in the lower right side which says “ Leets”. The artists who made this graffiti is a tatoo artist woman who is interested on painting women with latin aesthetic. Like this one, there are a lot of graffiti artists who dazzle us with their creativity.

I invite you to go to Cartagena and visit Getsemani so you can feel the real essence of this beautiful city. Remember always go beyond the traditional tourism, go beyond Colombia!

Christian Melo,

Beyond Colombia

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