The first MOS this year was in Monterrey, then in Guadalajara. In Monterrey the event was intimate, and involved only 40 writes, taking place in the Monterrey subway "The first time a city has invited writers to paint near the trains!" organizer Gerso commented. In Guadalajara, on the other hand, it was a massive event, with around 170 writers on a wall that was a kilometer long. In Mexico City the event was more decentralized, taking place in the Zócalo, in the middle of a book festival, the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, Calle Regina, Calle San Jeronimo, Metro Garibaldi, and Fray Servando Teresa de Mier. These seven sites, located around the Centro Historico, are fairly easily accessible to each other by foot, and yet, and also fragmented, each in very different kinds of places.
At Zocalo the artists were located in the middle of the square, with the Palacio National and Catedrale as stunning backdrops. In addition to the thousands of tourists who visit the site, the artists were also observed and greeted by visitors for the massive, week-long book fair being held in teh plaza. On Regina, on the other hand, one wall was in the middle of the pedestrian-only street, across from restaurants, and the other was a local playground with a mural of the Familia Burrón on the front. San Jeronimo has a sculpture garden and fútbol park, but also a more solitary street near the Sor Juana building. Finally, the Belgians at Garibaldi had to contend with the hustle and bustle (intense bustle) of the Mexico City metro system, while writers at Fray Servando Teresa de Mier were left in relative solitude, accompanied by the whish of cars on the major thoroughfare, and the hawking via a megaphone installed onto a truck: "BOTONES....BOTONOES!" "SNACKS...SNACKS!"
|Familia Burrón Mural.|
Yems, from Peru, and Zurik, from Colombia, explained that in their home countries there were no festivals as big as MOS Mexico, and so the festival offered them the valuable opportunity to meet a wide range of international artists and learn more about their styles. Moreover, it is an important site for diversity, NEAR from Guatemala explained, echoed by Herso from Neza. Both of the latter artists attempted to represent some of this multiplicity in their pieces.
For Mexican writers as well, the festival is a critical point for reunion. Diego Loza emphasized the role it played for the community, as did Motick.
I asked all the writers I spoke with the deliberately naive question: "Do you think graffiti can change the world?" All responded in the affirmative with important qualifications, that it effectuates a change in outlook and environment primarily, and perhaps a change in relationality and community secondarily. It is a means of bringing about spaces that feel more public, but it is a method that is intermittent, ephemeral, and necessary to repeat, again and again.
|MOS Signature Cans.|
Thank you to all of the artists for talking to me. It was wonderful.
Muchas gracias a todos las artists para platicar conmigo. Esta fue un evento increible.