It is notable when an organized gang of aerosol-wielding vandals protests your protest against censorship with censorship.
It’s also odious.
Everyone knows that it is normal for graffiti writers and street artists to expect that their ephemeral work may be buffed by a municipality or crossed out by a rival painter. This is a different matter entirely.
This is our 2nd time to bring you this story from a paint jam in Barcelona’s Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas where a collection of artists gathered to paint works addressing what they see as an unjust attack on the freedom of a citizen to express opinions in lyrics and writings. Taken together, these works are a passionate rejection of censorship and a colorful act of free speech by a community.
It made international news last month when Pablo Hasel, a Spanish rapper/singer/artist/musician from this city, was imprisoned under a Supreme Court ruling, which found his lyrics about King Emeritus Juan Carlos De Borbon to be offensive.
Artist Roc Blackblock was surrounded by a tight semi-circle of scrutinizing journalists and citizens as he painted. This was his second mural since his first had been immediately censored and ordered removed at the action in mid-February by an NCNeta brigade who a Barcelona Urban Guard escorted. He didn’t appear to mind the pressure.
Because there have been demonstrations in various cities and because modern media drools over scenes of destruction and violence, it’s easy to forget the many peaceful artists who paint their opinions, says documentary photographer Fernando Alcalá, who shares his work here.
“I think it’s important to keep speaking about the artistic actions when, after days of riots and looting, the media has forgotten about freedom of speech, and they just talk about burnt trash cans,” he says.
We’re happy that he captured these before they were destroyed by ‘Union de Brigadas,’ who recorded their censorious actions proudly and shared them on Twitter and YouTube.
I think it’s important to keep speaking about the artistic actions when, after days of riots and looting, the media has forgotten about freedom of speech and they just talk about burnt trash cans.”
“I want to contrast old people with new technologies, social networks and the new ways to interact that young people use, and the disconnection it might be for older people,” he says of the satiric illustration he’s created for the 12+1 project in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Who can argue with this? We spend our days looking at phones, not each other – more concerned with the opinions and ideas expressed by total strangers that we call “friends.” Meanwhile the lady standing next to you brought your mother into the world and you are too busy “liking” and emoticon-ing to notice her.
The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.
Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s.
Done along a 600 meter long strip in the neighborhood of Poblenou many artists joined in to paint simultaneously and talk about issues like biodiversity and the melting of the arctic. Artists included : AKORE, Dase, Rupper Artgigena, Labuenaylamala, Cheko, EDJINN, Laura Torroba, Mateu Targa, 400kunstler, Jaloóndeaquiles, Ulises Mendicutty, Joaquim Riaq, Santa sudaka, Penao, ENER, Tayone Grey Rainbow, Axe Colours, Bublegum, Mariajo, Rubicon1 , Camil Escruela, Elru Ghyart, El Xupet Negre , Mr. Sis , Kimo Osuna, H3L-X, Eva Zurita, and LaCastillo, among others.