Street Art

Sensemurs, Update #2: More Looks of Muralists Work to Combat Urban Growth Outside Valencia, Spain

March 22, 2018

Last week on the site we introduced the Sensemurs project, a festival-of-sorts held in the La Punta area just outside of Valencia, Spain. The project was created to raise awareness about the preservation and recovery of peri-urban orchards, as they are repeatedly threatened by urban encroachment all around Europe. The project gathered some of the biggest and most respected names from the contemporary muralism movement, including Blu, Escif, Aryz, Hyuro and more.

With some of the contributing artists having over 20 years experience of painting murals in public space, the event brought the heavyweights of muralism to a district historically known for its rural life. Since 2001, the area has seen hundreds of families expelled from their homes and their orchards and houses devastated by the unstoppable growth of the port. To counter act this urban development, the artists were determined to immortalize their struggle, having 170 acres of fertile land staying abandoned for the last 15 years as a constant reminder of injustice brought upon them.

Seeing the devastated and empty gardens next to remains of old homes and half empty social houses in the shadow of shipping containers from the large port, Italian artist Blu painted another one of his striking and intricate works. Not being inconspicuous when portraying the relationship between Valencia’s port authority and the people of La Punta, the large piece on the side of an abandoned and half-ruined building is showing a pyramid made of containers being built by the use of slave force. Not far from his work, Borondo painted a traditional door knocker on the remaining walls of an old traditional home, with word ASILO (asylum) carved next to it. Inspired by the unfortunate stories of the locals, he used the rice haystacks, commonly used as roofing materials, as the canvas for his other two pieces. The smaller one that was burned right upon its finishing was showing a severed head of a Goliath, symbolizing the size of the fight of the locals. The second one is showing an adapted version of baroque vanitas, including common objects and fruits found on the land that was once foundation for a home with gardens around. Close to those works was Daniel Munoz SAN's meticulously rendered, imaginary look inside a former headquarters of an association of psychologists who helped ex-prisoners. Showing the kitsch and wealth that created on the back of people living in the area, as well as paying tribute to the once vibrant and prosperous life of the region. —Sasha Bogojev

Photo credit by @SashaBogojev & Juanmi Ponce