All posts tagged: Germany

MONUMENTA Opens: The Intelligence Of Many / Leipzig

MONUMENTA Opens: The Intelligence Of Many / Leipzig

MONUMENTA: The Intelligence Of Many.

Below is an excerpt from our press release on this weekend’s MONUMENTA TALKS which BSA is hosting for the opening of the Monumenta exhibition in these massive halls of a tool-making factory that has laid quiet for 20 years:

Utopia is not dead! The idea of it anyway.

It may simply be obscured by the clutter of this dystopian era. We’ve all been imagining what Utopia looks like since your parents were kids. Visions of moon landings, living in geodesic domes, flying on skateboards, printing your own food, hacking time and space, making love to robots – we’ve all thought of our versions of Utopia.”

Vikor Frešo. Angry Boy in what we are now calling “The Church”. Monumenta 2018. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Is Utopia now dead? Do we know how to banish Dystopia?

MONUMENTA TALKS entertains and asks you if we can optimize our cities and systems. Does art play an important part? Who gets to decide?

With our guests and the audience we want to revive utopias. Seeking ‘monumental’ and ‘iconic’ ideas for a city/society of the future. We’ll examine the Intelligence-of-Many instead of the Limitation-of-the-Individual for pushing us all forward.”

For information on all events, directions and schedule click on the link below:

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Street Artists At Munich Museum Present the Portrait, “IMAGO” Curated by Elisabetta Pajer

Street Artists At Munich Museum Present the Portrait, “IMAGO” Curated by Elisabetta Pajer

From cave carvings in Angoulême in western France 27,000 years ago to your daily, perhaps hourly selfie on a cell phone today, our desire to depict the figure is as much a reflection of the artist and their times as it’s sitter.

A new show at MUCA Munich (Museum of Urban Contemporary Art) opening today invites 30 primarily Street Artists to choose a significant reference portrait of any historical time, country of origin, or artistic movement and interpret their inspirations into a portrait.

Whether drawing influences from Vermeer, Courbet, or Lucien Freud, each artist ultimately represents their own life experiences in their choice of subject and the technique of portrayal. Perhaps that is why curator Elisabetta Pajer has asked each of the artists to give us a statement with their work to help put it into context. Pajer tells us that she looks at the collection of works and the statements create a ‘harmonic mosaic’ of these figurative and written testimonies.

“These artists have sought out inspiration from many mediums that portraiture finds itself interpreted within,” says Pajer. “Taking their themes and inspiration from classical paintings, sculpture, film, theater, photographer, interactions, culture, religion, and science. Exhibiting a great understanding of the complexity of self-reflection with art as the catalyst.”

We’re pleased to be able to present some of the artists and their own words here.

Andreas Englund

Andreas Englund. Tripping. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 116 x 90 cm
“I chose to tribute my artwork to the ‘‘Portrait of a smoking man’’ by Anders Zorn 1860-1920 – Swedens most internationally acclaimed artist. Born in my home region and very inspirational when it comes to his sketchy technique. By doing my own version of this masterpiece with my superhero, I have learned more about ‘‘the great Zorn’’ and his technique.”

Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper. Futura 1983. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Archival pigment print
Size: 50,8 x 76,20 cm

“This is a 1983 photo of Futura, a legendary New York City graffiti writer, with a classic can of Krylon spray paint. Thirty-five years later, Futura is still spray painting and I am still taking photos of graffiti writers.”

Icy + Sot

Icy & Sot. Under The Water Light. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artists)

Media: Stencil spray paint on canvas
Size: 91,5 x 123 cm
“This portrait is part a series we created reflecting on the relationship between human and nature. Nature plays a big role in human lifespan, but nowadays people have distanced from nature. With this work, we want to show humans closer to nature and pay a tribute to it.”


Swoon. Thalassa. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Screenprint on paper with coffee stain and hand painting with collage mounted on board
Size: 123 × 138 cm
“The name Thalassa is Greek word for ‘‘ocean’’, a primordial incarnation of the sea that is not often personified. Thalassa is said to have given birth to all tribes of fish in the sea. She is the pull of the sea that comes from inside the salt water in our blood. ‘Thalassa was originally created for New Orleans. It was the months after the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf in 2010, and this body of water that I’d loved since I was a child was in peril. As I drew Thalassa surging up from the water I felt her rising like a wake up call, one reminds us of our inseparability from the sea. When I stand in front of the ocean, the word that always appears first in my mind is “mother”. For me there is no mistaking the sense that the sea is our first mother.’ ”


Gonzalo Borondo & Diego Lopez Bueno. Selfie Elvis II. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo © Blind Eye Factory)

Media: Acrylic and plaster on wood – Plasma TV 50’’- Video on loop – 16:9 Digital – Color
Size: 7 panels each – 120 x 70 x 1 cm + 1 TV
“Inspired by several passport photos found within the Marseilles “Marché aux Puches” (FR), Borondo and Lopez Bueno have designed an installation project with the title “Selfie Elvis II”. Imagination is the basis of the multimedia work with self-portraits of a man recalling the contemporary “selfie”. There are dozens of frames describing human aspects and obsessions. They have been digitally elaborated and assembled in a video by López Bueno. Borondo portrayed Elvis with acrylic on wood and applying gypsum, then scratched with sharp instruments. Faces appeared by subtraction, the absence tells about an ancestral and intangible dimension, wondering about its existence. Is Elvis looking at himself or us in that picture? And what about our images, do they look like us or they are just our dreams? Elvis is not there, Elvis is still there.”

Addison Karl

Addison Karl. Kamassa. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Bronze, edition 1 of 10
Size: 30,48 x 20,32 x 15,24 cm
“Portraiture in context to sculpture and form – referencing the masterpieces from both European Classical and Neoclassical time periods. From a culture l mirror of taking inspiration from Gods and Goddess of the ancient world, my sculpture’s subject is focused on a contemporary Chickasaw Elder. Using portraiture as a means of Cultural Preservation but equally re-appropriating classic sensibilities of art history to a Native Cultural narrative. “


Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Trigger (Rokhaya Diallo). IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artists)

Media: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 200 x 140 cm
“Our portrait of Rokhaya Diallo refers to an iconic work by Nikide Saint Phalle: The artistically revised film still “Daddy” shows the artist pointing a gun directly at the viewer. Even almost 50 years later, her eye and the muzzle of her rifle leave no doubt that she is serious about it. Anyone who sees the work feels immediately like coming into the firing line.
In our painting, the French journalist and film maker Rokhaya Diallo takes the place and – freely recreated – also the pose of Niki de Saint Phalle. Thus, an early feministic, vigorous artist of the twentieth century is followed by a modern, committed internet feminist with no less strong verve than her predecessor. Both women are even the same age at the time of the illustration. Only instead of the rifle, Rokhaya Diallo relies on her very own “weapon”, the hashtag. At first glance, it may seem more harmless than a rifle, but in times of #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo it can be an even more powerful tool.”


Fintan Magee

Fintan Magee The Removalist. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Canvas and acrylic on wall installation
“The portrait has been ripped off the canvas and dragged across the ground and projected onto the wall. The artist has destroyed the canvas and made the portrait ephemeral, rendering it worthless and unsellable. The work comments on the commodification of artwork and the uneasy and paradoxical relationship between artist and the financier of his artworks. With street art becoming increasingly commoditized and contributing to gentrification this work doesn’t aim to make any grand statements on how art should or shouldn’t be produced, only highlight the illusionary, absurdist and contradictory image the art industry presents of itself.”


VHILS. Matta. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Bas-relief carving on plasterboard mounted on metal structure
Size: 181 x 120,5 x 34 cm

“Resorting to a bas-relief carving technique, applied here to a free-standing structure of plasterboard, this piece is a homage to the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, which became a major influence on me after I first saw it at an exhibition in Portugal, in 2002. Matta-Clark was one of the first artists to look at the urban space as a space of creation and reflection on the human condition in the contemporary times we live in. Those are the considerations I try to translate in my own work too, reflecting about the human condition in the contemporary times we live in.”

Andrea Wan

Andrea Wan. Being Of Light. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Ink on paper
Size: 50 x 70 cm

“Fascinated by the lively and dynamic landscape in the paintings of native Canadian Artist Emily Carr, I chose one of her most renown works, Indian Church (1929) as the subject of reinterpretation. Seemingly more accurate than a realistic approach, Carr’s abstraction of nature elements not only communicated to me that nature is vast and subliminal but also ever-changing in form and expression. The white church which stands calmly in the midst of the mystical environment inspired me to personify the subject as a being who is in tune with all that’s around her.”


DALeast. FIII. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Media: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 100 x 80 cm
“A still moment of Fiii standing in the windy land, which is existing inside the transitory gathering of the particles of the magical net.”

IMAGO: A History of Portraits opens today at MUCA Museum of Urban And Contemporary Art. Munich. Curated by Elisabetta Pajer the show runs until November 2018.

IMAGO is a show dedicated to the history of portrait: over 30 artists from five different continents are invited to pay homage and interpret a portrait in their medium of their choice. IMAGO aims to lead visitors through different artistic eras, helping discover the international history and evolution of the portrait.

Artists include:

Jef Aerosol
Vesod Brero
Martha Cooper
Paola Delfin
Anna Piera Di Silvestre
Andreas Englund
Evoca 1
Ricky Lee Gordon
Hubertus Hamm
Addison Karl
Know Hope
Klone Yourself
Fintan Magee
Mario Mankey
Marco Mazzoni
Antony Micallef
Miss Van
David Shillinglaw
Søren Solkær
Sten Lex

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Nevercrew Reifies on “One Wall” in Berlin

Nevercrew Reifies on “One Wall” in Berlin

Nevercrew is unifying in Berlin with their new “One Wall” project with Urban Nation. The immense marine mammals depicted are not typical in their upright position in this reflective scene. Are they flying? Art they floating?

The artists tell us that they decided on the configuration based on the building walls themselves and are surprised by the opposite yet complementary pose the new mural creates.

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Ironically by turning the subjects 90 degrees the scene is more disturbing: you may become more aware of the powerful forces of man and nature that are upending these magnificient beasts and appreciate their fragility.

“It is about common responsibilities and aims despite distances and differences: towards a lost balance between humankind and nature and with human nature itself,” Christian and Pablo say in a statement for this powerful painted piece of unity called “Reification” that suddenly makes it all real.

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

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BSA Film Friday: 03.23.18

BSA Film Friday: 03.23.18


Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1.The Subconcious Art of Graffiti Removal
2. Bushwick Collective Block Party 2017
3. Street Art Berlin 2018 – Yasha’s Friends
4. Adnate: Indigenous Recognition in Sheep Hills – Silo Art Documentary
5. Alva Moca 12 + 1 Contorno Urbano


BSA Special Feature: The Subconcious Art of Graffiti Removal

“The artists creating it are unconscious of their artistic achievements”

Today an excerpt from an intellectually stimulating cogitation on the buff as art by Matt McCormick at the turn of the century. Looking glass perspective, scholarly rigorous investigation, humorous satire, art-speak laden skewering of pomposity – they all seem possible

“With roots in minimalism, abstract expressionism, and Russian constructivism graffiti removal is both a continuation of these movements and an important step in the future of modern art.”

“Hats off to Matt McCormick’s “Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal,” an award-winning 16-minute film that wryly documents the antigraffiti campaigns in several northwest cities. Painting over graffiti yields public abstract painting that looks peculiarly modernist and brings to mind Rothko, Motherwell and even Malevich.”
Roberta Smith, The New York Times

Bushwick Collective Block Party 2017

Because we have just endured 4 snowstorms in March, let’s think about the Bushwick Collective Block Party and Film Festival last summer. Yaaaaaaaaaas.


Street Art Berlin 2018 – Yasha’s Friends


Adnate: Indigenous Recognition in Sheep Hills – Silo Art Documentary

“It’s not about feeling guilty, it’s about recognition.”

“In the remote country town of Sheep Hills, Australia, world renowned street artist Adnate brings the indigenous history of the region, and the country as a whole, back into the forefront of peoples minds. This short form documentary follows Adnate as he paints a huge disused grain silo, celebrating the lands first inhabitants and discussing the importance of recognition.”


Alva Moca 12 + 1 Contorno Urbano

“Organic patterning that verges on Op Art tumbled with flatly folk outsider aesthetics, commercial diagrammatics and Picasso cut-outs, Spanish artist Alva Moca has a lot going on in his head,” sayest we a few weeks ago when writing about this new mural. Today we see a video about it.


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Lapiz: The Hero Is You

Lapiz: The Hero Is You

New Zealand’s Lapiz has been working on a new stencil in Germany to address who is a hero in the battle against surveillance and loss of privacy.

Lapiz. “The Hero Is You”. Hamburg, Germany. (photo © Lapiz)

In this private commission on a house in Hamburg, Lapiz pushes Edward Snowden front and center, under a quote from him saying, “The hero is you.” The NSA-whistle blower is flanked by Obama writing the word “terrori..” and Angela Merkel checking her phone.

Lapiz. “The Hero Is You”. Hamburg, Germany. (photo © Lapiz)

Lapiz tells us that Snowden “is highly regarded as he revealed to what extent we are spied upon, how our every move, email and action is recorded – even including foreign heads of state. However, in his own words, he is not a hero, instead he acted because of his moral beliefs and insists that everyone can be a “hero” and do the right thing. For the government, however, he is a traitor that should be jailed for life.”

Are you the hero? Who is? Do we need another?

Lapiz. “The Hero Is You”. Hamburg, Germany. (photo © Lapiz)

Lapiz. “The Hero Is You”. Hamburg, Germany. (photo © Lapiz)

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‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

A partnership of artists, curators, and real estate interests is giving a seriously entertaining show this week to Street Art and Graffiti Fans with this site-specific exhibition of ingenious interventions of many disciplines. Primarily Berlin-based artists and spearheaded by organizers Señor Schnu, Baye Fall and Moritz Tonn, we’re pleased that we have a first-person account of the inspiration behind the show from the guy who came up with the name ‘Wandelism’, Denis Leo Hegic.

Wandelism – Spray Can Change

By Denis Leo Hegic

There we are, in the midst of a lively bustle at the production ground of the Wandelism exhibition in Berlin.

Dennis Gomez Herrmann. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Sparks are literally flying around as Olly is about to cut open a stretch limo and hang it in the air. Behind the shower of sparks Jerome and Señor Schnu are working on their large scale mural while Kitra is about to create a giant piece on a wall, which actually consists more of void then wall surface. C0MPUTERJAN is transforming a half of a Cadillac into a computer-controlled DJ booth and Ostap is turning a window into a tape-art piece.

Ollyollyoxfordfreak at work in his installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Marina Zumi, who is currently installing another of her new light works in the exhibition, joins me and Suzanne Forbes, who makes drawings of all of us in real time. There is some serious good energy in the air, and I’m not talking about welding and the aerosol, but about a group project that is truly created and lived in a spirit of a community.

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

Ostap putting the final touches to his tape installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Ollyollyoxfordfreak . Señor Schnu . Fabifa . Mika Sitter “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Berlin is one of the worlds’ capitals and one which has experienced a tremendous change in the last three decades. The city, which was divided in two by a 156-kilometer-long wall for a time period of 28 years, was first unified in 1989 and then exposed to an incredibly rapid development ever since.

Interestingly enough, this very Berlin Wall has proven something that is still a valid topic at the Wandelism Show today: the importance of the freedom of expression.

Wandbrand. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

For decades, one side of the wall was an open-air gallery of graffiti and street art while the other (clean) side of the wall was a death zone. The failed experiment of division is historic proof of the importance of creative participation in the urban space.

On the first day of the opening, Wandelism attracted more than 1,700 visitors who, despite a protracted winter in Berlin, waited in long queues to attend the opening. The following day, 2000.

C0MPUTERJAN. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Nevertheless, the exhibition does not present itself in the usual language of superlatives (“The largest”, “The biggest”, “The best”), which is sometimes peculiar to these types of art shows. Instead, Wandelism promotes the notion of a democratic coexistence, where everyone is welcome and where all the different curiosities can be explored.

Emma Rytoft at work on her installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“We are socially responsible and work with lot of local talents. That’s very important because not every exhibition of this format has a social aspect. Almost 90 percent of the entire exhibition is created by Berlin-based artists and we would love to pursue our vision in the future and transform more temporarily vacant spaces into art events like this” – Señor Schnu

1UP Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Base 23 . Onur. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

 “I like the speed. I paint graffiti-style but with dancers in public space. For that type of work you need to be really fast. And I like when you can feel the momentum in the painting.” – Herve Thiot

Herve Thiot at work on his installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“You can not have ‘change’ without a little bit of ‘vandalism’. The one concept can not exist without the other one. A change requires revolution and revolution sometimes needs vandalism.” – Carolina Amaya

Carolina Amaya at work on her installation. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Akte. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Wenu Crew, CokyOne, Jeron. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Dave The Chimp. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Stefanie Scherer)

Parisurteil. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Rosco. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

“Our ‘Fuck Fame’ toilet is a clear message. Just take a look at the whole social media and online addiction which is going on. Everybody is posting every single step of his life, and from other peoples’ lives; A public run for fame. Without thinking about it we are sacrificing our own privacy. As a reaction to that we decided to take even the last bit of privacy away and created the Fuck Fame toilet.” – Ron Miller Art Collective

Ron Miller Art. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Nasca . The Krank. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

“Somehow I do see myself in process of change. I’m coming more from this graffiti scene but I am also developing more and more into a mass-compatible area, so yes, I do see myself in a process of change. But I also believe that it is the entire scene that is changing and transforming itself into a more recognized and accepted art.” – Tobo

Tobo takes a moment to ponder. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Hagen Schönfeld. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Felix Hülpüsch AKA HÜLPMAN. “Wandelilsm”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Scon75 . Paindesignart “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

Canion Berlin . Wenu Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Oskar .  Kish . Canion Berlin .  DXTR . The Weird . WENU Crew. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

“I am in this business for such a long time already. I am doing this now for 35 years. I know that this place will be gone, but lot of people will see it. And nothing can be contained forever. The awareness that the art which you can see here will be there just for a certain limited time, which you have to experience now and can not wait until next year, because it will be gone – that’s part of the deal and I quite like that.” – Loomit

Loomit. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Melissa Lee . Flo de Producer . Theodor Robinson. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Kitra. Wandelism. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Catherine Lupis Thomas and Bill Knospi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Denis Leo Hegic)

Suzanne Forbes’ live drawings of Denis Leo Hegic and Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany.

You can visit the Wandelism exhibition until March 24 and is located in Wilhelmsaue 32, 10713 Berlin.


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Berlin Wall Milestone : Down as Long as It Was Up

Berlin Wall Milestone : Down as Long as It Was Up

The Berlin Wall has now been down as long as it was up. 28 years, two months and 27 days passed in both cases, and we are still looking for sane global policy about the freewill of people to prevail.

Ronald Reagan, a Republican president lauded by the right, once intoned while standing in front of the wall,

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace…Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Dimitry Vrubel mural “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” first painted in 1990 and restored in 2009 is based on the iconic photograph by Régis Bossu of the Fraternal Kiss in 1979 between Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German Leader Erich Honecker on the occasion of Brezhnev’s visit to East Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Also interestingly in that same speech Reagan referred to the graffiti on it;

“As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, ‘This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.’ Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.”

Chiseling the Berlin Wall (photo ©Owen Franken)

Mr. Reagan saw the hypocrisy of building walls, separating people, restricting freedom. Yet we today have another president so far to the right of Reagan that he has even threatened to shut down the government in order to secure funding to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

Fiodi Frede “Sons of Bitches. Stop Lying. We Learned Nothing.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Which brings us to a more recent sentiment on part of the remaining wall, written in Spanish;

“Hijos de puta dejen de mentir no aprendimos nada”, or “Sons of bitches stop lying we did not learn anything.”  No kidding.

As we mark this mathematical marker, we present a few images of that wall that once stood unbroken for 10,316 days

Gabriel Heimler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andrej Scharow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michail Serebrjakow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Avignon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rhino (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Photo © Jaime Rojo

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1UP Crew: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

1UP Crew: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.


The ubiquitous graffiti crew 1UP is amorphous and shape-shifting but their work is easily spotted in their hometown of Berlin, one of the graffiti capitals of the Western World. With many members and a variety of handstyles and influences represented on roofs, risers, tunnels, trains, and even legal walls, the overall collection of 1UP tags has wide influence on other writers – with some of the work taking it up a level, two levels. Here they share a photo with BSA readers that represents a highlight of 2017 as they look forward to 2018. We were there that day in May at the UN construction site as well, and the scene will stay in our minds for a long time.


We chose this photo because we had a very intense, wild, special and heartwarming time with Marty this year. The last summer was full of crazy actions, and doing them together with Marty was just the top of the pie! Only good memories that we will hopefully remember forever! Stay tuned for news of our project together that will be hitting you next year!

Stay healthy everybody and have a colorful 2018!

One Love! One United Power!



1UP Crew. Berlin, Germany. May 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)


1UP Crew

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Various & Gould: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

Various & Gould: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Intellectual adventurers with a penchant for public experimentation, the Berlin-based duo Various & Gould anchor their vivid-hued dada-pop hybrids in study and observation – and a willingness to actively question conventional assumptions. Originally predicated on the language of poster graphics, in periodic forays in public space, V&G become performers, clue-givers, even academic re-skinners of existing sculpture when their new idea takes fullness. Today we learn how their own natural observational practice and innate creative curiosity about art on the streets leads them to new discoveries and sources of inspiration.


When we discovered this work, we thought at first it was a nicely cracked window of an empty storefront.

We were on our bikes and just after we had already passed it and were waiting at the red light, we glanced back: ‘Did you see that window? What was it: broken, scratched, painted? Let‘s have a second look!’

When we turned around we saw these delicate graphic lines. And we understood this was an artwork. Now the detectives in our curious artist minds awoke and we were wondering how this was made.We came to the conclusion it might be the left over borders from stickers, applied to the window stripe by stripe.

We really enjoy the intriguing yet unobtrusive appearance of these works, of which we have discovered more since. It took us a while to find out the artists name: Birgit Hölmer.

We haven’t met her though. It‘s so striking that public art can still appear in new forms and surprise you!

Various & Gould. Art work by Birgit Hölmer. Berlin, Germany. March 8th, 2017. (photo © Various & Gould)


Various & Gould

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Vermibus: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

Vermibus: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Spanish Street Artist and fine artist Vermibus has been re-rendering posh pictures of fashion poses on public ad spaces for a handful of years now. His insight into how emotions and self image are impacted by advertisements is now concise and his rendering of opinion is clarion. More than 600 installations later, not only has his work become a powerful critique of twisted class and beauty standards, it’s a reclamation of public space and mindspace that we have allowed to become privatized. Today Vermibus shows us a photo he took in Berlin this year and tells us about revisiting one of his original lightbox spots and discovering something new that he wasn’t expecting.


This year I came across an empty lightbox and this one immediately caught my attention.

Many years ago, when I was just starting as Vermibus, I did an intervention in this spot but I didn’t realize until this day how beautiful and full of meaning this space was. Maybe it was the blue light from the moment, the empty street, or the closed windows from the building but they all together made some kind of poetical meaning for me, and I was touched by it.

This silent box gave me more than I was expecting, it gave me peace.

I never felt so connected with any campaign in the way I felt connected with the absence of it; this lack of message was stimulating my imagination and my reflection. I couldn’t tell if this was an intervention or it just happened naturally, who the person was who did it, or what was the aim of it – if there was an aim at all.

I end up realizing that in fact all this didn’t really matter, the information was there for the ones who could read it, and I was one of them.

My wish is that more people can see the message that is hidden in those empty shiny spaces in the same way I did.

Vermibus. Berlin, Germany. July, 2017. (photo © Vermibus)



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Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2017

Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or that we tripped over walking by the railroad tracks. This year we showed you about 250 of them.

We call it BSA Film Friday and it travels with us to cities around the world now when we do it LIVE with you and other audience members in theaters and lecture halls and museums. The beauty of the video/film form is you can get a full story quickly, and you are often surprised by how transformative it can be. You can also see how many people are affected by urban and street culture through these films – we see people’s eyes light up when they realize that they too can create in public space, that the world is not simply a product but is a piece of art that many of their peers are now jumping in to co-create.

As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, and achingly beautifully normal. From looking at the Separation Wall and Banksy to a travelling crew of graffiti writers on farms in Polish pig country to the amazing dance troupe who interpreted the 5 floors of art installations in a downtown Berlin former bank, you have before you a massive buffet of a visual feast.

The final desert is hand-held phone video caught in the moment last month in Mexico City. We didn’t know Keith Haring was coming down the tracks to surprise us, and we didn’t know that this unpolished jewel would garner thousands of viewers and commenters – effectively placing this little piece of video at number 1 for its popularity. Maybe the fact that it is so raw is what people relate to – along with an ongoing adulation for Haring.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.

No. 15
Faith XLVII / Aqua Regalia Hong Kong

From BSA Film Friday 05.19.17

“Distant universes delicately tangled,” says the near-whispering narration as you are gazing upon scenes from Hong Kong – those interstitial moments that carry you between the more remarkable ones. Faith XLVII gives us a quiet look at these inside a the dencse cacophony called “Aqua Regalia”, looking at the parts of a culture that a visitor is sensitive to because they are not taken for granted. With this ability to see, one takes a quick course of a city, a society. Invariably you end up with more questions.

“We speak of death and birth in terms of celebration and mourning.” Faith XLVII is in search of more universal truths, the timeless ones, since we understand them so poorly. Herein are glimpses, romantic and unvarnished.

“This is one of the first videos I’ve co-directed, alongside filmmaker Dane Dodds,” Faith tells us. “Its a project that is close to my heart.”

No. 14
Gonzalo Borondo / Cenere

From BSA Film Friday 08.11.17

Borondo keeps it open for you. He provides the stage, the staging area, the proscenium, the altar, the emanating light, the associations and memories you have with your belief system, or lack of one. During his artist residency with Pubblica, curated by Carlo Vignapiano and Elena Nicolini in May, the Street Artist (among other things) creates a journey as much as a destination in this intimate chapel. The video by Gerdi Petanaj captures this and perhaps a little more.


No. 13
The Haus / Lunatix Dance

From BSA Film Friday 04.07.17

From the moment it opened on April 1st, the Haus was a hit! BSA was very lucky to be there in February for a full tour while still in development in Berlin, nearly dancing ourselves through all five floors of this former bank with full scale installations in places that once held offices, conference rooms, employee coffee lounges.

By inviting Creative Director/dancer Serdar Bogatin and the film crew “Shuto Crew” into the space with members of the Lunatix Dance Production troupe, these spaces and art environments come completely alive, invoking stories and dramas – clearly making the spaces into elaborate set-design pieces.


No. 12
Ella & Pitr / Frappés PinPins

From BSA Film Friday 05.05.17

The French duo Ella + Pitr here revel in the simplicity of the gestural act of a full-body full-bucket splash of black paint.

Carnal, visceral, overlaid with psychographical information, the motion of splashing inky pigment across a white quadrilateral is an act of defiance and a release of the inner chaos – instantly recognizable as chaos elsewhere in the world.

The uncontrollable quality, especially when purveyed within an atmosphere of prim control, provokes amplified emotions in some. Fear, liberation, rage, release. Which ones will you experience?


No. 11
Indecline/ Rail Beast

From BSA Film Friday 10.20.17

“This reminds why I hate vandals! All this does is create more unnecessary work for the guys at the paint shop,” says a commenter on the Vimeo page where INDECLINE has posted this locomotive takeover.

You see kids, this is why we can’t have nice things. I just mopped this floor and you come running in here with your muddy boots! For Pete’s sake.

Truthfully, this decidedly unpolitical piece is a surprise coming from INDECLINE. Guess they were taking the day off from railing against hypocrisy and injustice with this animated train that recalls Saturday morning cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.


No. 10
Olek / In the Blink of an Eye

From BSA Film Friday 01.13.17

“It is one thing to read about the events in those parts of the world, but it is something totally different to actually look in the eyes of the women who lost everything while running from the war,” says artist Olek about how her world view changed when crocheting the project featured this week.

While gathering and producing materials for her installation with Verket Museum in Avesta, Sweden, the Brooklyn based Street Artist was holding informal crochet workshops with volunteers who would be producing the decorative yarn skin that covered every single item inside and outside of the house with their handmade crochet stitches.

Some invited guests were refugees who had escaped war in Syria and Ukraine and the artist and local folks shared stories and crocheted, sewed, and prepared the art materials together over the course of a number of days. It was during these exchanges of personal stories that, “a conversation started that has changed me forever,” she says – and she immediately needed to reflect it in her project with the museum.


No. 09
Sebastian Purfürst – Soniconoclasm / Broken Motor

From BSA Film Friday 06.02.17

In Berlin recently we met a photographer/media artist/musician who showed us a music video he just made of regular people whom you might meet on the city streets at night. This spring he asked more than 25 of them to recite phrases and “cut-up of army radio slang phrases” and by splicing them together with his band mate’s recitation of the lyrics synched to their lips, the rawness and rage and disconnected connectedness of people whom you can meet on the street rang true. “

This unvarnished quality bypasses the styled self-awareness of a lot of commercial media, and the anger actually comes across as fear. Perhaps you’ll think its too dark in demeanor – but then suddenly the melding together of the faces into one common entity makes it magic, even transcendent – revealing a simple sameness of everyone.

“This suspenseful individuality of the people is almost completely dissolved in the chorus,” says Sebastian Purfürst of his video with bandmate Markus F.C.Buhl.

Together they are called SONICONOCLASM.


No. 08
Pixel Pancho/ UN – Berlin

From BSA Film Friday 09.22.17

Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!

This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botanical knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.


No. 07
FifthWall TV / Occupied in Bethlehem – A visit to BANKSY’s “Walled Off Hotel”

From BSA Film Friday 06.16.17

“It’s almost become a playground for people to come to,” says your host Doug Gille as he looks at the section of the Separation Wall that the Banksy “Walled Off” Hotel is installed upon. “I think it is so crucial for people not to just come to see the wall or to paint on the wall,” he says.

“50 years under military control makes it the longest occupation in history,” is a quote that Gillen brandishes across the screen from the United Nations. The fact that Banksy is using his art star power to keep this on the front burner says a lot about the man.

“I think a lot of these people feel like we are forgetting about them and we have to remind them that we’re not,” says Gillen as he soul searches next to the Dead Sea.


No. 06
Various & Gould / City Skins – Marx und Engels

From BSA Film Friday 07.14.17

Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.

You may have seen our piece on their most recent public project called “City Skins”: Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould.  Here is a mini-documentary that shows you the artists, the process, and the thinking behind the process.


No. 05

From BSA Film Friday 01.27.17

Now to the Polish pig farms! Another Street Art/Mural road trip movie, this time across Poland with JAYPOP, Seikon, Krik KONG and filmmaker Cuba Goździewicz. See the discoveries, the relationships, the reactions to the work from a warm and considered human perspective.

The beauty of randomness and the randomness of beauty. These guys are fully engaged with their surroundings, the opportunity, the myriad people they befriend or portend to make allies. It’s an uncharted trip where permissions are sought and often refused, but they never stop painting somehow.


No. 04
Swoon/ Fearless

From BSA Film Friday 10.13.17

Using existing and new footage of Street Artist Swoon and selected interviews with people in her orbit, director Fredric King presents and hour long documentary that looks over two decades of art making. The stories told and the insights that Calendonia Curry aka Swoon presents while en route to her next adventure illustrate the fluidity with which she pursues the creative spirit, whether on the street, on a vessel down a river, or installing in a museum. An integrated explorer, Swoon brings you into the fold to go on this journey that always feels like its just begun.

No. 03
Fin DAC/ Rooftop in San Francisco

From BSA Film Friday 08.25.17

On an expansive rooftop in rainy/sunny/rainy San Francisco, Street Artist Fin Dac brings to life ‘Shukumei’, an ebullient and mysterious muse. The film is largely a stop motion record of the work set to music, but did you notice how much dexterity and effort goes into this precision play when you are working at this angle, basically painting the floor? The remarkable integration of the glowing skylight orb, dramatically revealed, imparts the figure a mystical dimension as well.

Video editing by Tonic Media, Soundtrack by Mombassa/Lovechild, and shout out to Ian and Danielle at Rocha Art and Missy Marisa, model.


No. 02
Niels Shoe Meulman In Magic City / The Art Of The Street

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

Niels Shoe Meulman spent some nights in a Munich jail thirty years ago for mucking about on the walls. This year he was paid to do it in Munich for Magic City, the travelling morphing exhibition (now in Stockholm) where Street Art is celebrated along with all its tributaries – including a film program and a number of photographs by your friends here at BSA.

Born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shoe shares here his new improvisational piece and some of his reflections on his process and his evolution from being in advertising as an art/creative director and reclaiming his soul as a graffiti/Street Art/fine artist. As ever, Martha is in the frame, putting him in the frame.

No. 01
Keith Haring- Rough Cut / Mexico City Metro

This rough cut lil’ video reached more than 300K individuals and had 100K views with thousands of shares on FB and on Instagram with dozens of comments and high engagement was easily propelled to the #1 spot.

From BSA Film Friday 12.01.17

It all took us by surprise last week in Mexico City when suddenly a whole train covered on both sides with Keith Haring’s work approached while we were waiting at the platform to catch the Linea 2 of the Metro. He made his name in part by illegally doing drawings like these in NYC subways and here now they are crushing a whole train. The name of the project is “Ser Humano. Ser Urbano” or “Being Human. Being Urban” and it aims to promote human values and human rights. The pattern you see is from “Sin Titulo (Tokyo Fabric Design)” – now stretched across these whole cars, if you will.

The train itself is inexplicably having brake troubles, so we get some jerky spur-of-the-moment footage but all week on Instagram and Facebook we’ve received tons of comments from people reacting to this little bit of Keith video by Jaime Rojo on BSA.


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An Abandoned German Factory and the Free-form IBUG Festival

An Abandoned German Factory and the Free-form IBUG Festival

Travel blogger and writer Giulia Blocal is sightseeing and living in new places as an independently minded explorer and observer. She has lived in Slovenia, London, Madrid, and Dublin in recent years, discovering their character and cultures and contrasting them with her native city of Rome. Today Giulia shares with BSA readers her late summer trip to Germany for IBUG, a Festival für urbane Kunst (Urban Art Festival) in an abandoned factory.

~ by Giulia Blocal 

I’ve just gone through one of the most exciting weeks of the year.

Wartin Paintois. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

I arrived in Chemnitz, a former industrial town in Saxony (Germany), on the same day of the first group of artists that was invited to paint over an abandoned factory of meat processing machines.

The VEB Spezialmaschinenfabrik shut down in 1992 and when I first entered it, it was just a huge empty building made of red bricks and raw concrete. Windows panes were broken, and here and there some water was dipping from the ceiling.

Wasp Elder. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

On the first afternoon the artists roamed around the former industrial space to claim their walls – fully in line with the spirit of IBUG, which is an especially grassroots and spontaneous urban art festival where the staff doesn’t assign walls nor require artists to submit sketches.

At IBUG, art grows spontaneously and in an experimental way. As many artists told me, IBUG isn’t meant for you to do something well executed; IBUG is meant to experiment with new things and to encourage you to push yourself out of the comfort zone.

Plus Minus3. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Many works were inspired by the location itself, such as Wartin Paintois’ paste-ups depicting the former workers of the factory, all different but all equal to the eyes of the owner who just needed manpower.

Still site-specific, but in a completely different way, is the room painted by PlusMinus3, a Berlin-based group of designers who used the shadow of a former shelving unit as a starting point for their iconic geometrical patterns.

Nespoon. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Every time I entered the factory, I could spot something new and yet more artists bustling around – painting, building, welding and experimenting. Although every artist has worked at their corner, they were all working at the same artwork, which turned out to be way more impressive than the sum of its parts.

The courtyard of the former factory got a makeover too. Now, the cooperative mural by the Mexican Eva Bracamontes and the Spanish Koctel dominates the garden. This collaboration -which is a first- arose spontaneously, simply because they both fancied the same wall. This huge wall was in a pretty bad condition (it took them three days just to prepare the wall), so the optimal solution was to join forces and face the big wall together.

Nespoon. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Collaborations aren’t unusual at IBUG. From the ‘Wall of Fame’ at the entrance of the factory, where everybody has drawn something or – at the very least – left their tag, to more thought-out pieces, collaborations arose spontaneously, while checking each other’s sketchbooks over a bottle of beer.

Some collaborations worked out so amazingly that the final piece looks as if painted by just one artist. That’s the case of the IBUG-born duo MAD Gallosch, which painted a bright-colored, comic-like piece.

Nespoon. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Artists love this festival because at IBUG there is plenty of space to collaborate and experiment. Once they have done their ‘main piece’, they just roam around to find a second, a third and a fourth wall to paint. When the pressure of the first piece is gone, they feel free to paint whatever and however they want.

An artist who felt especially free to treat the former factory as his own playground is the Italian Mr. Di Maggio. He didn’t even wait to finish his first piece, the one depicting his iconic cyclists at the entrance of the building, before going around the factory armed with spray-cans to scatter his typical faces throughout the whole building, as well as painting a couple of more experimental pieces inside the factory.

IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

The most interesting aspect of his rediscovered freedom is that, after a week of free-style painting, he came back to his initial piece fuelled with new ideas and he made something really special out of it.

This feeling of ‘nothing is done, everything is a work in progress’ is what makes IBUG so special. The Dutch artist Kenneth Letsoin kept painting even after the opening of the festival on a side building that visitors would have not seen – just for art’s sake. I was really impressed by how prolific he is: he simply couldn’t stand a few hours in a row without painting. Actually, his creative vibe was an inspiration for many artists who collaborated with him throughout the week.

Kenneth Letsoin. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

All this creative energy is so overflowing that it even spilled outside of the factory. The Ukrainian duo made up of Dima Fatum and Maria Uvarova painted a wall on a residential building in downtown Chemnitz.

This piece is majestically executed, with a lot of amazing details. They made it in just two days, as they were eager to come back to the factory to enjoy the IBUG creative vibe.

Dima Fatum mural in the city proper. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Eventually, this rusty-and-dusty caterpillar turned into a colorful butterfly.

At the opening weekend thousands of people came to enjoy the artworks and the party in the former VEB Spezialmaschinenfabrik factory.

While the sound system was spreading around its vibes, some artists took the leftover paints to do a bit of healthy bombing on their last night together.

Mr. Di Maggio. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Mad Gallosch. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Mr. Di Maggio. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Koctel. Eva Bracamontes. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

Dima Fatum. IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

IBUG 2017. Chemnitz, Germany. (photo © Giulia Blocal)

IBUG 2017 participants included: 

  • Tasso (Meerane)
  • Quintessenz (Berlin)
  • Kera (Berlin)
  • Guido Zimmermann (Frankfurt)
  • Zonenkinder (Hamburg)
  • Hifi (Dortmund)
  • Julia Humpfer (Stuttgart)
  • Nespoon (Poland)
  • Chromeo (Switzerland)
  • Taina (Switzerland)
  • Madame Moustache (France)
  • BenjAMIN Duquenne (France)
  • Sanne Maloe Slecht (Netherlands)
  • ZZNNArt (Netherlands)
  • Koctel (Spain)
  • Necko (Spain)
  • Koz Dos (Italy)
  • Luca di Maggio (Italy)
  • Kid Crayon (Great Britain)
  • Wasp Elder (Great Britain)
  • Malarko (Great Britain)
  • Dima Fatum (Ukraine)
  • Maria Uvarova (Ukraine)
  • Said Dokins (Mexico)
  • Eva Bracamontes (Mexico)
  • Stephen Swartz (USA)
  • Wartin Pantois (Canada)
  • Robolito (Brazil)

Our special thanks to Giulia Blocal for sharing her observations with BSA readers. To learn more about her and to follow her travels please visit:

Giulia Blocal,

Facebook @GiuliaBlocal

Instagram @giulia_blocal_blog

Twitter @Blocal_

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