Street Art in a Malaga stylee
The barrio of Lagunillas is the true beating heart of Málaga's artistic scene.
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Some years ago, disillusioned with the decay, local artists and social activists formed two associations dedicated to promoting artistic activity as a means to focus the youth and create positive social neighbourhood action. The result was a communal basketball court and plaza, the Plaza Esperanza, and an association known as 'El futuro es muy Grease'. The future is very Grease. This consisted of a blackboard and a sign from a recent theatre show of the musical, where Concha Rodriguez would write daily slogans trying to inspire the locals to improve their daily lot. From here the spontaneous decoration of the abandoned lots and facades and other buildings spread out concentrically. Artists from other parts of Spain as well as locals have contributed.
There is now a multicultural space, El Polivalente, various artists studios, a flamenco cultural centre and a community bike workshop. All of this is from the community and completely outside of the municipal regime. The few city blocks are resplendent with bright and fantastical murals. The themes range from fantasy, flamenco figures of local fame, to outright political statements complaining of the bourgeoisification lead by tourism. The fascinating thing is that what otherwise might be an intimidatingly dingy neighbourhood, it throbs with life and clour, and the locals take great pride and positivity from it. The younger hipper tourists can be seen exploring this completely unpublicised phenomenon, but it's surprising how few people reach the biggest free show in Málaga, only meters from the busiest tourist square in the city. Let these photos whet your appetite and be sure to visit, stroll around, sip a beer in a quiet tatty neighbourhood bar, so near yet so far from the corporate tourism roaring away around the corner. Definitely Málaga's best kept secret.