ATTENTION: For those of you working on large scale projects, take a lesson from Mutay crew.
Big welcome to Joen Denegro from Santiago de Chile! He is a Translator, Sociologist, MC, Beatmaker, Social Networks Community Manager and Martial Artist, and the newest member to the FatCap team!
With unprecedented efficiency, Mutay Crew transformed Santiago's central railway station, painting a wall almost 1 kilometer long. The Railway Mural project was a massive collaboration, including 300 graffiti writers and muralists, that demonstrated the speed and efficiency at which a dedicated crew can move, create and impact. The project, led by crew members Santana, Sombra, Parte del Paisaje and Lalio), created an urban exposition of graffiti that used the city as creative material.
The crew surprised everyone in the local community, demonstrating a high level of graffiti management and entrepreneurial initiative to complete this large-scale project. We caught up with Lalio from Mutay Crew, and Claudio Lillo from the Department of Cultural Development of the Municipality of Estacion Central (Santiago, Chile) to talk about "El Mural Ferroviario" (The Railway Mural).
"...even when [graffiti] was born as a weapon to communicate freely, to use public spaces, I think this thing is being changed and needs to be "polished" a bit. For instance there is a lot of tags and vandalism that dirties the city".
And as a solution, Lalio explained, they began with the local state government's permission, private funds and legal graffiti artists. Artists got the culture, municipalities got the logistics and private organizations brought the funds.
The group had to jump through some bureaucratic hoops first so that they could move the project forward. This included creating a slide presentation called "The train as pictorial foundation" which covered architectural information, location maps and information of other graffiti events like Concegraff, Planeta Graff and The Wall for Peace (related to the World March for Peace). Claudio Lillo highlighted Mutay's management, saying it was key in this project. He wants to make connections like these to allow culture to "develop itself", rather than dictate what the neighbors must culturally do, act and like.
The organizers were also fairly creative in appropriating funds and justifying the project, using a UN initiative called Agenda 21 which permits projects to be more transparent in terms of "political colors". They also used local development funds to support "Social Participatory Painting" programs. This particular one seeks mainly to recover spaces and to develop local community culture while tackling the prejudices towards the association of graffiti with vandalism.
The event itself involved national and international artists, ranging in age and styles, from the newest to the oldest schools of graffiti and muralism. The contrast is best seen in a collaboration of the Brigada Ramona Parra, an old school political muralist group. Lalio says that the most important thing is that "this kind of activity has diffusion and when the Mayor came to the wall he brought the Media with him: tv, newspapers, etc. I think it is good not only for being in tv, but for the event itself, because it causes the society to open to this new concept of art.
Catch more Mutay Crew photos on their flickr page.