All posts tagged: Street Art Belgrade

6 More Murals for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Belgrade, Serbia

6 More Murals for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Belgrade, Serbia

Making Art on the Streets More Accessible

In November of 2021, we reported HERE on a public art program for visually impaired persons in Belgrade, Serbia. The program provides 3D models of murals for people with visual impediments so they can better enjoy the art painted on the streets of the city.

Flying Fortress. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)

Today we bring you an update as we look at new 3D models of murals for blind and visually impaired people here; bringing the total number to 8 in this capitol city. The first two models were put up in October 2021, representing the work of artist Weedzor. In April and May, six new models were created for murals done by artists Jana Danilović and Hope, TKV, Piros, Junk, Rage, Lunar, and Flying Fortress. Accompanying each model is a description of the works in Braille.

Flying Fortress. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)

Led by the organization Street Art Belgrade, the new works invite members of the City Organization of the Blind in Belgrade to feel what it looks like to discover art on the street through a short walk, say, organizers.

Piros. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)

“At the beginning of this project, I did not believe that it was possible to adapt murals to the blind and visually impaired, and in less than a year, we have a total of eight works available to us,” says Nikola Djordjevic, president of the City Organization of the Blind in Belgrade.

“Our community is small and art is still insufficiently accessible to blind and visually impaired people. The very fact that artists will now think of adapting their works to everyone means a lot to us. The models on the streets motivate our members to feel as a part of the city, to move and walk more, which is very valuable.”

Junk. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
Junk. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
Jana Danilović and Hope. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo © Aleksandar Dalek Dordevic)
Jana Danilović and Hope. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
TKV. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
TKV. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
Rage. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
Rage. Murals for the blind and visually impaired. Street Art Belgrade. (photo courtesy of Street Art Belgrade)
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3D Models of Murals: Opening the Street Art Experience to the Blind in Belgrade

3D Models of Murals: Opening the Street Art Experience to the Blind in Belgrade

Imagine being able to grasp a piece of street art, thanks to a 3D model of the original mounted nearby and made specifically for the blind and visually impaired. We do not recall writing about such a development – and now that we have learned about it, we hope to hear of many more.

Weedzor. Belgrade. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)

In October, following World Sight Day on the 14th, the first 3D models of murals for blind and visually impaired people were set up in Belgrade – led by Street Art Belgrade and a private commercial foundation. Following the first models’ installation in two locations, people were invited for a small street art tour like no other. Naturally, we have seen many sculptures and more three dimensional installations by artists over the last decades, but this is the first time you can witness that a direct translation of the painted work is created in dimensions that help others more fully appreciate the patterns, the relations, the forms at play with one another.

Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Aleksandar Đorđević)

“Street art is considered the freest kind of art because, regardless of its passing character, it is on the streets that belong to everyone,” says Ljiljana Radošević, an art historian from the organization Street Art Belgrade.

“However, not everyone can see and experience it. In this way, we want to bring this contemporary art form closer to blind and visually impaired people and make that dynamic and creative world available to them.”

Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)

The two murals selected for the 3D models were done by the artist Weedzor, who’s been working on Belgrade’s streets since 2005 – cylindrical shapes that form the heads of a giraffe and a wolf. In addition to the 3D models placed at shoulder-level on the street, there is a description of the works in Braille. According to organizers, there are more 3D murals planned around the city.

Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)

“Any activity that contributes to the blind population having more things they can experience is very important,” says Nikola Djordjevic, president of the City Organization of the Blind in Belgrade in a press release for the program.

“This is not just an art exhibition, but this approach also shows respect for our population.”

Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Aleksandar Đorđević)
Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)
Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Aleksandar Đorđević)
Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)
Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)
Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)
Weedzor. In collaboration with Street Art Belgrade and the Telenor Foundation. (photo © Marko Mihajlović)
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Seniors Getting Up in Belgrade Add to a Parade of “Granny Graffiti”

Seniors Getting Up in Belgrade Add to a Parade of “Granny Graffiti”

The demographic contrast is colossal between the stereotype of your grandparents and the archetype of a delinquent hooded graffiti writer who bombs the margins of the nighttime metropolis.

Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)

The mental image of seniors wielding spraycans in public is also a reliable feel-good community story that TV news producers devour like frosted donuts and one that makes you feel like everything is all right with the world after all. Yes, Covid-19 looks like it is killing off half the country, but just take a few minutes to watch Mildred maneuvering that Montana Gold with two hands to spray a portrait of her cat on the wall!

Is there any doubt that all is well and everything is going to be fine after all?

Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)

Truth be told, we’ve met a significant number of old-skool New York train graffiti writers who are in their 60s and 70s and who still occasionally catch a tag when no one is looking, so perhaps our stereotypes of seniors need adjustment. Not to mention seniors like one of New York’s most prolific street artists, the octogenarian Robert Janz, and Jacques Villeglé, the French nonagenarian who originated a style of on-the-street Paris poster laceration that pre-dated by decades many street artists who followed.

But as an ‘event’ seniors with spraycans have been going since at least the early 2010s in Portugal and Germany where a white-haired 70 year old became famous as a one-woman anti-nazi graffiti crusader.

Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)

In the last few years the senior sprayers idea continues to expand and become a little more commercial; An enterprising Denver art gallery drummed up goodwill with its version of graffiti grannies and even the Nuart Festival brand offered an inspiring senior spray program to their clients in Aberdeen to round out the street art package for a wider audience last year. Of course if you are a black New York senior who is writing an Anti-Trump message in chalk on a wall, you’ll be fingerprinted and given a mugshot.

Here in Belgrade, spirits have been lifted by this month by what organizers at Street Art Belgrade and Paint Kartel characterize as the “first ever ‘Street art workshop for seniors”. They say that the goal of this new program in the Serbian capital is “to inspire and provide practical knowledge to participants over the age of 60, as a way of support for understanding street art and further creative expression,” they say in their press release.

Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)

Indeed, many of the images feature people of different generations working together. “Through this workshop, the older generations connected with the younger ones in a unique way and challenged the stereotype that street art is only for ‘young people’.

Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)

At a time when (primarily) young people have been in the streets around the world vociferating about racism and other issues surrounding equality, maybe more of our conversations about intersectionality are going to include our seniors as well. Most would agree that any program that fosters greater mutual respect is a positive step forward.

You may also feel a note of optimism to see stereotypes of graffiti writers, muralists, and street artists evolving; artists from the Serbian “Paint Kartel” crew served these seniors as creative mentors throughout the workshop.

Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)
Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)
Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)
Seniors Workshop organized by Street Art Belgrade and Božidarac. Belgrade, June 2020 (photo © Nemanja Stojanović)
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