Encarni Pindado

Graffiti artists from Mexico and around the world are transforming Mexico City into a hub of urban protest.

The artists where brought together by Manifesto MX, a street-art initiative that seeks to make the country's top social and political issues permanently visible by tattooing them across the capital's concrete landscape.

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Project coordinator Liliana Carpintero, who owns a local art gallery, told Fusion she wants artists to voice their concerns on all issues, ranging from neoliberalism to the recent disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students.

Carpintero convinced several property owners to allow 10 participating street artists to tag buildings and walls with protest murals and graffiti.

"Young people have been receptive, but older citizens remain worried about what an artist might paint on their walls," she said. "Mexico was oppressed for a long time and we are just beginning to get accustomed to an era of openness and democracy."

Street art, she says, is testing the limits of Mexican free speech.

Photo by Nasser Malek

This mural by Italian street artist "Ericailcane" depicts a cymbal monkey holding two Mexican pesos and wrapped in the Mexican flag. Carpintero told Fusion that the flag made the building owners uneasy, and they requested that it be covered in black.

A mural by German duo Herakut, who are famous for "The Giant Storybook Project," featuring the characters Jay and Lily.

This mural was created by "Bastardilla," an artist from Bogota, Colombia. She has tagged buildings in Madrid, Guatemala and Boston.

Argentine artist "JAZ" started his career tagging walls in Buenos Aires in the mid-90s but evolved to a unique style that combines graffiti and fine art. In this work JAZ reimagines Mexico's national crest, which portrays an eagle eating a snake.

Street artist Edgar Saner is a Mexican muralist, illustrator, and graphic designer who redesigns Mexican iconography to mix traditional and contemporary images. His signature vivid images and masked characters are influenced by Mexican folklore and mysticism.

Italian artist "Ericailcane" takes his visual inspiration from children's book illustrations, fairy tales, and scientific illustrations from the 19th century. He portrays the hypocrisy of society through motifs involving animals, human-hybrids and beasts.

Mexico City artist "Ciler" manipulates iconic images into visceral commentaries on death, violence, beauty and the environment, such as this painting that twists the country's symbols of the eagle and the snake.

Controversial Italian artist "Blu,"who hides his identity á la Banksy, painted this take to Mexico's patriotic symbols. Here the Mexican flag is divided by green dollars, white cocaine and red blood. On one side troops of American toy soldiers, on the other Mexican soldiers.

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Note: The photographs of these images will be sold this Saturday in Carpintero's gallery; proceeds will go to the family members of the Ayotzinapa student victims.

Freelance Photographer.
Interested in social justice, human rights, women voices, travelling and learning.
Currently working on a project about women migration from Central America and Mexico to the US.