The alleyways of Trastevere are the veins of Rome. Here, there is always a tavern or craft shop to visit, there are always card games played on street corners, and the exuberant style and culture of the district (now considered the “Historic Centre”) is manifested in its street art.
2020 has challenged festivals to creatively rethink themselves in order to keep bringing art in the streets while ensuring social distancing and complying with travel and event restrictions. While Nuart Aberdeen organized a paste-up edition during lockdown, IBUG 2020 safeguarded its artists and the authenticity of the festival’s unique concept through a longer production phase. The time that artists live and freely create inside an abandoned industrial site in Saxony (and so the creative phase that I’ve happily documented both in 2017 and in 2018) has been extended to 1 month, as only 5 artists or art collectives will be on site at the same time.
This “special edition” coincides with the year of industrial heritage, which called for a special festival location: the former Royal Hospital in the city center of Zwickau (“Königlicher Krankenstift“). This beautiful building has been abandoned since the mid-1990s. However, this year 20 selected artists will also paint outside the festival venue at designated spots around the city. Unlike previous editions, this year artists are coming strictly from Germany, although international artists will be joining IBUG 2020 via digital contributions.
The former Royal Hospital of Zwickau will then open to the public for two weekends: from 28 to 30 August and from 4 to 6 September.
Big up to the IBUG team, which has been working restlessly to make the festival possible even this year. I truly admire their commitment and I want to use this opportunity to thank them, because we all need something pleasant to look forward to in this weird year.
To get a feeling of how special IBUG Festival is, read also:
Ibug 2017 / The abandoned factory comes to life
Ibug 2017 / Good vibes + good people = good memories
Ibug 2018 / The gang is back in Chemnitz
And a vlog too, from Ibug 2018:
When I received the press release of Nuart Lockdown Edition, I was enthusiastic about the new format they came up with: maintaining a dialogue with the city, on the actual streets of Aberdeen (Scotland), through a poster campaign by the same artists who were announced to take part to the 4th edition of the international street art festival.
I don’t remember why we began chatting online, but I do remember that in Summer 2017, I wanted to join Sami Wakim on his annual trip to his hometown of Beirut. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it, so I (finally!) met him in the flesh for the first time at Nuart 2019. He was there to interview Lebanese street artist Jad El-Khouri as part of the festival’s excellent program “Nuart Plus”.
Saying that Palermo is worse off is a gross understatement. Palermo’s palaces are, at best, beaten up, but in any other scenario they’re outright shattered. Yet their crumbling facades, which the North African sun and the sea breeze keep eroding daily, are what make Palermo so seductive.
Palermo walls are full of writing. Graffiti and street art, sure, but also sprayed messages with no artistic ambition whatsoever -just the urge to declare one’s love.
I was constantly impressed by how much of the everyday conversation goes on the walls of the city, where messages of love are sprayed next to graffiti and street art.
Here are my favorite love messages: