I spent this afternoon contemplating people leaving things on walls.
My cool teacher suggested a visit to the Barrio Oeste and it was an excellent palette-cleanser after yesterday’s magnificent display of privilege.
Barrio Oeste is a vibrant area on the west of the city where many students live and the streets are like a gallery of street art. It has been a lovely sunny Spring day, which made a long aimless wander through the quarter thoroughly enjoyable.
The line between street art and graffiti can be a fine one and it’s probably one of those situations were both quality and quantity make a difference. One piece of graffiti is vandalism, but when every wall has something on it it transcends its origins and becomes art.
My route to Barrio Oeste took me past the newly renovated Banca de Espana building whose walls are interesting in a different way. This lovely building is interesting because it was built in the 1930s and carries large falangist symbols on its façade. They are cleverly balanced by a big sign explaining that they are the symbols of a repressive regime and only maintained because of the historical significance of the building and then explaining exactly how the Francoist regime was illegitimate and dictatorial.