Garibaldi Pum urban art project
During August a group of urban artists (including rundontwalk, Stencil Land, Mart,
Nerf, Pastel, Malatesta, Pum Pum, & Maria Bedoian), worked on an urban regeneration project called ‘Garibaldi Pum’. The project took place in the traditional porteño neighborhood of La Boca, in the south of Buenos Aires. Although tourists flock to La Boca to watch tango dancers and to buy colourful souvenirs, it is a deprived area with high levels of poverty.
The project was run by Fundacion X La Boca, an organisation which develops and promotes social, cultural and environmental projects to improve life for people in La Boca. It focused on regenerating ‘Paseo Garibaldi’, a neglected area between the two popular tourist spots, “El Caminito”, and Boca Junior stadium. Previously the passageway had been a dumping ground for rubbish and rusting abandoned cars. With support from the workers at the Boca stadium, the space was cleaned up and prepared for artists.
The passageway filled with colour. A diverse group of artists created pieces in a variety of styles – abstract muralism, letter-based graffiti and stencil art. Many of the pieces were directly inspired by La Boca itself, referencing the history of the barrio or the famous yellow and blue of Boca Juniors football team.
The finished works are a vibrant visual counterpoint to the obvious signs of neglect throughout the barrio. The project has transformed a neglected space into a community-friendly area, attracting interest from both tourists and residents alike. Whether you call it urban art or graffiti, murals such as these can be instrumental in changing perspectives and social attitudes towards the area. This project vividly demonstrates the power of art to revitalize outdoor city spaces.
Whilst graffiti itself is often viewed as a sign of neglect, this project shows how it can have the opposite effect. This is public art – a sign that an area is cared for, and a source of local pride.
To find out more about the project, visit Fundacion X La Boca.