If you ever find yourself in the self- proclaimed ‘City of Kings’, you might start wondering why a King would settle here. Particularly after struggling through the hustle and bustle of a concrete Miraflores, having been battered and bruised on an overcrowded bus weaving in and out of what can only be described as bedlam, and been fairly disappointed by the lack of expected sunshine. Lima can seem grey in more ways than the weather, and the lack of large open spaces may leave you feeling slightly claustrophobic among the high rise blocks.
However, amongst this chaos, wandering to the south of the city, your soul may find some light once again in the sea of grey. You will breathe a sigh of relief at the hidden gems you can find when straying away from the main tourist path. It is hard to find a street in Barranco without splashes of colour, rainbow- painted walls and intricate detail on every corner. Barranco is well known as the bohemian district of the city, and for centuries has attracted poets, writers, artists and musicians alike. But there is no need to enter into a gallery or pay a fee to witness some of the most intriguing and uplifting art work around.
Amongst the colour and vibrant pieces there can also be found political messages and deeper meaning, causing the onlooker to not only think about their relationship to the artwork as an outsider, but also about the different sections of society in Lima who know all too well the hardships of poverty, domestic violence, political corruption and racial discrimination. This art serves not only to brighten the streets and brilliantly contrast the grey sky, but also to provide a thoughtful reminder of the current social and political situation in the country.
This post shows some artwork which serves to brighten and provide light in some of the neighbourhood’s poorest areas. As well as others which serve as reminders of international influences on Peru within art and music, and some tell stories through facial expressions and movements. Some remain more political, such as the powerful image which reminds us that the #MeToo campaign is deeply important to women of all ages, races and economic backgrounds. They further demonstrate that racial discrimination and inclusion are still highly contested topics and challenges many face all over the world.
By Emily Kilner