Art unites people, an example of which was the international project “Russia — Latin America Street Art” organized by the House of Latin America in Moscow. For a whole year, Muscovites got acquainted with the culture of “street painting,” and the end of the program was the street art festival in the Hermitage Garden.
Street art is urban art born on the streets of cities that gradually earned respect even in the academic environment. Today, street art festivals are held all over the world.
Latin America is a region where street art flourishes and organically fits the appearance of megacities. For example, Buenos Aires, as a city that has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the direction of design, is considered the unofficial capital of graffiti. However, this title is disputed by the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo where they even invented a special technique of street calligraphy.
Dialogue of cultures
Throughout 2023, live communication between representatives of different countries, exchange of experience, mutual cultural enrichment through art and co-creation took place at various venues in Moscow. In the spring, educational lectures on the origin and development of street art in different countries were held at the RUDN University and the Higher School of Economics with the participation of recognized Latin American artists: Wolfgang Salazar (Venezuela), Oscar González (Colombia), Julio Linares (Venezuela), as well as Jesús Rafael Salazar Velásquez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Venezuela to Russia, and Alexandra Danilova, art historian, specialist of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Since street painting is not taught anywhere, artists themselves gain experience by creating works in specific conditions of the street and choosing a special way of interacting with the “canvas,” be it concrete, asphalt, plaster, and much more.
The Garden of Friendship
The pinnacle of the project was the international street art festival “Russia — Latin America,” in which 12 artists from Russia, Colombia, Venezuela have been creating large-scale graphic works on the site of the Hermitage Garden for two days. With their own eyes, the audience saw paintings being created on the themes of Latin American folklore, culture and traditions of the Caribbean countries, and friendship and mutual understanding since the language of colors and forms does not require translation. At the festival, it was possible to taste Latin American cuisine, join a Spanish lesson, or take part in a master class on bachata.
The landmark event of the festival was the conference “Street Art: The City as a Territory for Creativity” where art historians and experts in the field of creative industries discussed the trends of street art. The conference was followed by the discussion with the artists of the festival on their works. At the closing ceremony of the street art festival, the ambassadors of Latin American countries personally congratulated the artists and presented them with memorable gifts.
After the festival, paintings created in the Hermitage Garden moved to Moskino movie theaters. Now, they decorate spacious halls and serve as a bright background for numerous photos. You can also join street art online: as part of the project, a website was created, with information on artists, interesting articles about world street art, photos, and videos of the project.
Elena Suvertok, Deputy Director of the Latin America House,