Spanish collective Boa Mistura has premiered their documentary based on Somos Luz (We Are Light), a project created in Panama last year in the community of Chorrillos.
Boa Mistura highlights a distinction between community based projects and street art for the sake of decoration or self-appropriating places. This work and many of their previous projects serve as agents for communities to trace memories, create narratives and involve a collective identity that serves to beautify their public space. The debate whether street art is done for the public or for the self- interested artist is becoming more widely discussed as many artists feel inclined to give back to the communities they temporarily work in. I have yet seen a collective that embodies so delicately this participatory inclination of sanctioned street art and community engagement. Community based projects are another vehicle for artists to push their perspectives and, at times, their visual tendencies and possibly propel more discussions that can give us varied answers to “what the hell are we doing with these large-scale murals?”
Video courtesy of Boa Mistura