In the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, you might want to look closer at graffiti tags you see around town—they might be from artists that you wouldn't expect. A group of elderly Portuguese women (and a few men) are unleashing their street art on the city through a workshop that teaches them about tagging and the history of graffiti.
Portuguese architect Lara Seixo Rodrigues set up the program, Lata 65, after noticing that older people were gravitating toward graffiti at a street art festival she organized in 2011.
“It’s best,” Seixo Rodrigues tells the group, “to use a nickname when you write on the walls, just so the police don’t find you.”
The program is supported by the Lisbon City Council, which offers up walls around the city for the group to tag as they please.
“The more I paint, the more I want to paint,” Olinda Rodrigues, 66, told the Guardian. “I didn’t really like street art that much before this; I always thought it was just kids making a mess of the walls. But now I understand the history behind it and the way of thinking and I appreciate the artists more.” Participants range in age from 59 to 90.
Seixo Rodgrigues said that when the group learns about artists like Banksy and then gets to try it for themselves, she sees their attitudes toward street art change.
"We start out hearing that they don't like street art, they don't like grafitti and by the end of the they understand a lot more and they like a lot of the stuff that they watch in the street," she told the BBC.
Lata 65 is taking the workshops to São Paulo, Brazil, next month.