A coat of paint can go a long way.
That's the mantra at the heart of Boa Mistura, a Madrid-based artist collective that has a history of traveling the globe, spreading street art as a symbol of social change. From Sao Paulo, Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa, the group of painters, engineers and architects transform the typical brown and gray colors of cities across the world into a spectrum of wild reds, blues and yellows. All in an effort to demonstrate how community-based artwork can shape the identity of a neighborhood.
Boa Mistura's latest intervention took place in Querétaro, México, where the team recruited members of the working class town to paint over 30 buildings overlooking the nearby highway. That was only the first phase in the ongoing project -- the collective and their endeavoring volunteers hope to cover all 1,074 of Querétaro's buildings in electric oranges and vibrant teals, bringing together children and adults who take great pride in their home in the process.
"Witnessing the youth of the neighborhood sharing their time with others from social centers, when maybe there was never any excuse to meet each other," a member of Boa Mistura explains in the video below. "They are thinking in a different way right now. [They] have a new reality, a modified one. That's actually really good."
"At the end they believe this community can live in better conditions," he adds, "and keep that spark of life produced by knowing that... if the neighborhood looks so beautiful, it's because of them."