I[ n recent years, street art has evolved into something more than just graffiti. Renown artists like Banksy have helped bring awareness to street art, and cleared the cloud of mystery that used to revolve around it. What was once an act of vandalism is now a revered form of urban art that’s now appearing on the streets and walls of cities all around the world. It’s bold, brash and artistic, and most of all, street art is a form of expression and often has an underlying message of political and societal context.
From Brazil to Palestine, we’re bringing you on a visual tour to experience the latest street art culture that’s taking the world by storm.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While exploring Rio de Janeiro, I found Lapa to be one of the most interesting areas in the city with gorgeous wall paintings and mosaic artwork. It may be a little gritty and scruffy, but there’s an undercurrent of bohemian and artistic vibes that epitomizes the character of Rio.
An eclectic mixture off Sanskrit writings and contemporary art on the walls of Lapa
World cup fever in Rio de Janeiro
Playing with femininity in Lapa
The children of the streets
Old vs new
In the favela of Santa Marta, the walls convey messages like “The rich want peace to get richer, we want peace for survival.”
West Bank, Palestine
During our visit to Israel over a year ago, we took the opportunity to cross over to the West Bank in the Palestinian Territories. What surprised us most were the street art lurking in every corner. Messages of the fight for freedom sprawled across the West Bank barrier that the Israelis erected. The strength and tenacity of the Palestinians are expressed through these evocative art work. Even Banksy left plenty of his masterpieces around the area.
The Palestinians continue to fight for their freedom
Leila Khaled is a famous female Palestinian freedom fighter born in the city of Haifa 1944. Khaled is the first ever woman to hijack a plane in history strapped with grenades around her waist and a pistol gun.
The art work of Banksy is seen on the streets of Bethlehem
Cape Town, South Africa
While in Cape Town, we went on a design walking tour with an architecture who led us through the streets of downtown Cape Town in search of contemporary urban art. What we found were really abstract and artsy work that we didn’t get understand but they got us thinking – and that was most important.
Flying children on the walls
While biking in the township of Masimpumelele, we stumbled upon this piece of art.
The Slovenian capital of Ljubljana is small but eclectic and creative. Far from the medieval city center, we found some bright and youthful street art at the area around Hostel Celica. The hostel used to serve as a military prison but the Metelkova Network managed to convert the building and its surroundings into an independent cultural hub. This area is now a place for free-spirited locals and tourists to hang out and exchange ideas.
Living by their own rules
Freedom of expression
A blend of alien characters and modern scribbles
Basseterre, St Kitts
On the Caribbean island of St Kitts, we left the beaches behind to explore the capital city of Basseterre and were pleasantly surprised to find interesting little corners revealing hints of local culture and flavors. Just a few blocks behind the Independence Square, we found a few walls painted with local heroes and political characters.
The wall of fame include portrait paintings of Kim Collins, a local track and field sprinter, and Sir Kennedy Simmonds, the ex-premier of the country.
More local characters on display
Politicians seem to play an important role here – from left to right: Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican civil rights activist; Sir Lee Moore, an ex-Premier of St Kitts; and Robert Bradshaw, the first Premier of St Kitts.