Everybody seems to think that street art in Berlin is dead and undoubtedly the city isn’t anymore the ultimate destination for graffiti writers and all kinds of artists.
Urban Nation is responsible for the majority of urban art in the city, so our Berlin street art tour couldn’t start anywhere else than from their HQs on Bulowstrasse.
[UPDATE 2018: At last, I visited Urban Nation, read more below!]
Born out of a fierce need for expression of strong social disadvantage, every year street art is becoming more and more vanilla.
The spreading of urban art festivals has a lot to do with it: curators usually want something aesthetically nice, which will please everybody.
It’s gone from a tool to convey radical political messages. Now street art has become a ‘tool’ to decorate walls – probably the cheapest way for public administrations to show that some action has been taken to redevelop the outskirts, even if they’re only putting up a façade (no pun intended).
As one more year passed by, I found myself thinking about my happiest moments from 2016 and –undoubtedly- attending the legendary Nuart street art festival in Stavanger (Norway) was one of them.
Apart from a couple of interviews (with Axel Void and Henrik Uldalen), I still haven’t told you anything about that amazing experience, although you might have seen my round-up of outdoor and indoor murals and my recap of Nuart Plus academic conferences on I Support Street Art, the website I was representing at the festival.
Or, better, I should say as seen on the streets of the Northern Quarter, as almost all murals can be spotted in this neighbourhood. Once the centre of the cotton industry, nowadays Manchester’s Northern Quarter is the hipster heaven of the city, and the best place to find some great street art. The most spectacular large-scale murals in the area were painted during Cities of Hope, a street art festival highlighting social injustices while raising money for Manchester charities.