Artists and researchers discuss street art in Maputo

The Bloco 4 Foundation (B4F) and the Department of Sociology from Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) held, on September 24 in Maputo, a public talk entitled: Maputo Street Art: The youth, the social and urban imaginary.

The event took place at Eduardo Mondlane University and was aimed at allowing room for reflection on various art interventions executed on urban space by street art youth movements.

For this purpose, a special focus was placed on intersections among art manifestations on public space and on how emerging artists reinvented themselves in austerity contexts in urban or peripheral ateliers in Maputo. In addition, skate as a lifestyle in a generational perspective was debated.

Alberto Correia, a visual artist; Francisco Luís, from Maputo Skate; and AfroIvan, visual artist, orators/speakers of this meeting, moderated by the sociologist Baltazar Muianga, defended the relevance of ending stereotypes in relation to arts and fashion, for instance, the idea most people have in mind that painting is solely for the rich.

Alberto Correia (Social Activist)

For such effect andthrough their organizations, they promote art workshops in neighborhoods which allow a direct interaction with people and demystify or break, at a certain extent, stereotypes that ruin the arts.

The speakers acknowledge difficulties in the performance of their artistic activities. However, they believe that to overcome any such challenge is necessary focus, determination and perseverance.

“As artists we are guided by these words. Determination and imposition are our key-words”,saidAlberto Coreia Brown, for whom art is a way to set himself/herselffree from the standards imposed or placed in the world.

In the discussion about the practice of skate, the idea of lack of space for its practice came up.

Francisco Luís (Maputo Skate President)

“The best places to be built skate-parks are becoming business centers and that is very bad. The existence of such skate ramps constitute an opportunity for the youth and teenagers to desert from illegal activities and drugs”, concluded Francisco Luís, chairman of Maputo Skate, a non-profit organization whichempower children and youth through the practice of Skate, as a manner of occupying them in their free time.

In his exposition, Francisco Luís talked about entrepreneur spirit which shall be imparted to people from an early age, show the vision and examples from other people in which they might inspire themselves.

AfroIvan (Plastic Artist)

This initiative is part of the Popular Culture Project, Activism and Social Change in Mozambique, supported by CHCI.