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Artists try to change image of violent Caracas slum

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 22, 2019 - Duration: 01:59s

Artists try to change image of violent Caracas slum

In the sprawling slum of Petare in Venezuela's capital of Caracas, a team of artists and residents led by Fabian Solymar are painting abstract murals covering up walls filled with Socialist Party political propaganda.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Artists try to change image of violent Caracas slum

Armed with a spray paint can - 31-year old Venezuelan artist- Fabian Solymar is hard at work... ...the slum of Petare in Caracas serving as his canvas.

As one of Latin America's largest slums - Petare is better known for crime and gang rivalries - with a murder rate double that of Venezuela as a whole - which is already at record levels.

But Solymar is trying to change that violent image of Petare - one mural at a time... (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARTIST, FABIAN SOLYMAR, SAYING: "The idea is for people to feel that this is not a place of delinquents, but of people who work, there are engineers, there are architects, there is a bit of everything.

I have come across all types of professions and there is this misconception that all neighbourhoods are dangerous but it is not true." Solymar and a team of Venezuelan artists have so far painted 9 murals across the hillsides of Petare... And now locals are noticing how the art is changing their neighborhood.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) PETARE RESIDENT ,KATIUSKA CAMARGO, SAYING: "The connect between art and the people is amazing, because in spaces where there was trash now there is art.

And in places where there is still a bit of trash, we remove it, the artist arrives, does his work and creates magic." The artists are also trying to send a political message...by keeping politics out of sight.

They are seeking to paint over walls filled with socialist party propaganda... This mural- for instance- will eventually cover up a campaign ad for a state governor and an image of the eyes of late President Hugo Chavez.

The ruling party's symbols are scattered across public spaces in Caracas- but as a majority of Venezuelans blame President Nicolas Maduro for an economic crisis that has made life unbearable -Solymar's murals aim to brush off the icons of the past... and paint a new vision for the future.

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Credit: Euronews English - Published on August 21, 2019 

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