Street Art in The Comuna 13 of Medellin
It looks like in Colombia, every city must have a colourful neighbourhood with painted house. Guatapé, Cartagena, Santa Marta, many cities have this extra charm by having a big mix of colours.
Medellin is not on the sideline with the neighbourhood of San Javier and more specifically, Comuna 13. On the side of a hill, most houses of the this part of town are painted with bright colours which makes it very distinct from afar. Aside from it, Casa Kolacho, a hip-hop collective is gathering artists and local youth to create murals with the goal to bring an alternative future to the barrio which suffered years of violence.
For years Comuna 13 has been the scene of violence. At a strategic location on an highway out of Medellin, many gangs and guerrillas were fighting to take advantage of it. In recent history, the city has invested money to turn this barrio around and make it more liveable for people.
This part of town is a must see as it remains as close to authenticity as it gets and also displays the desire as much as actions of the city to invest money for the people. The first project is the metro-cable of San Javier. In Medellin, metro-cables are built to create a public transportation from the valley to high up in the hills. The second one is the escalator directly in the center of the Comuna 13 which was also built to facilitate transportation for people coming and going to work.
Around those escalators, a group of artists have painted many murals to embellish the walls and it became a popular attraction in Medellin. There’s even a graffiti tour you can take to follow on the tracks of the artists and get the meaning behind every piece.