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Archive for April 26th, 2019

Panama Mural Festival May 20-26, 2019

April 26th, 2019 | Category: Events,Graffiti / Street Art,Travel

Heading back to Panama City this May! Received confirmation to participate in the 1st Panama Mural Arts Festival taking place May 20th-May 26th. If your planning on a vacation some where with a little street art action check out this event. I was there in 2014 and got a chance to stroll thru the modern city area and historic center #CascoViejo, visit beaches like #RedFrogBeach, and hang out with friends in #BocasDelToro. This time I will enjoy my time painting and building with the artists. Thank you Panama crew, see you soon.

Panam Mural Festival

Panama Mural Festival 2019

I’m back from Panama! Ready to rock this re-cap before my trip to NY. What an experience, one of the best one’s yet. Festival’s are not easy, especially in our countries. When you keep a positive attitude through it all it can make a huge difference. My wall took a while to lock in, I lost 3 days in the process but in the end it all worked out. The perfect wall became available and it challenged me to prepare a piece that could work with the structure + time frame I had left. Traveling to paint can be a rollercoaster at first,┬á not everything will go as planned or smooth but if your patient and trust your gut instinct you’ll be all good. The more I paint in countries like south america, and central america the more I learn to slow down, which makes a huge difference in all it is trying to teach me.

Panam Mural Fest Toofly Kuna Guna

Panama has various indigenous communities one of them is GUNA. Also known as KUNA. They live in the mountains and islands as well as in the city. They make beautiful artisanal molas and bead jewelry. What I found most fascinating is that they own 365 Islands ( Sand Blas ) correctly named called “Guna Yala” They have their own rules, and they handle the tourism once inside their islands. They are independent from the Panamanian Government. That’s what I’m talking about!┬á Shine light on the people that are all about protecting their land, water, culture, and tradition so that it is not lost.┬á Indigenous Rights matter.

Toofly Panama Mural Fest 2019

“Sembrar” Panama City 2019 Barrio Santa Ana Calle 14 y Calle C

Toofly Sketches Panama

Toofly_Panama Mural Fest-Bario

During my wait for a wall to come up, I spent time strolling thru the streets, chatting with the community, making new friends, having an ice cold beer, and sketching. Panama is going through a big change, many “centro historicos” in South America are. There is a re-birth about to go down. It is seen, and it is felt by all. As you walk down these streets the architecture of old buildings next to new buildings tells the whole story.┬á Everything comes back around for a new cycle. The contrast is beautiful, but it is also sad. We all know that street art and art in general is a tool for social change in our communities. It can bring a lot of good to people who need it the most. People who are forgotten, marginalized, oppressed, and poor. We do the work to save lives as well. We painted in the barrio of Santa Ana, it is at the cusp of the tourist sector with fancy restaurants, and shops. Kind of like the edge of Williamsburg back in the day when it was all factories, and now…well you know how it is now. Gentrified. That’s exactly the set-up, and all developers know it. They are jumping in to grab what they can. Little by little it will reach Santa Ana, it is very very close. The poor just like the poor in other major cities will be pushed further away. There is no stopping this trend of urban planning. It is happening everywhere, and the more I travel the more I see the same story played over. We care about these issues, and are caught in the mix of it. As artists of color we have a responsibility to not only beautify communities, raise the moral of people, bring smiles, and most of all spark inspiration to create change and rise up. If people take pride in their neighborhood, they take pride in who they are, and then they take back their streets. They defend what is theirs. We have a right to report back to the world what is happening, the good and the bad. All of this will go on whether we are there or not, but it will happen faster with the attention. I have seen it in Peru, in Ecuador, in Panama, in Mexico, and of course in NY. Our hope is that in the middle of this territory battle that benefits the wealthy, that we report plus plant seeds. Seeds that help others find ways to work with these communities so that their culture is protected. Their traditions and stories kept alive. If it is all gone, and the starbucks move in, it becomes another empty illusion of what folks flock there for in the first place. CULTURA! AMOR! CULTURA! Our countries are “rich in culture” they are not for the soulless “privileged rich” who want to push the less fortunate out for their benefit. You either work with us, or against us. We must protect what is dear and important to us. Our cultures are (((( love )))) realized and what keeps our human spirit alive.

Santa Ana Panama_Barrio

Gracias Santa Ana! Your smiles filled us up. The little things in life matter more.

Sanata Ana Panama treets
Toofly Panama Mural Fest Santa Ana

Toofly Panama Mural Process

Toofly Panama City Street Art_web

Santa Ana Barrio Panama-people

Gracias Chi-Chi and Bolivar! Flowers and colors go a long way for the many who have little or unfortunate circumstances.

PANAMA CITY STREETS

Before I returned to Ecuador, I had a chance to reconnect with friends who have moved to the islands and starting new lives away from the illusion of freedom in a big city. Nature can change that. Happy for them! Love you amiga <3

Panama Friends

Panama Buildings 2019

Panama Friends 2

Thank you Panama Mural Fest! Disem, and Dreps and the whole crew, even your lovely mom and pop. I am proud of you guys. You all worked so hard in all areas of the festival when all odds where against ya. We saw it, we felt it.┬á It all works out in the end, and I am thankful you took the first step as Latino organizers in the movement. ( Fist Up ) Shout out to all the artists who did amazing pieces. Check out some of the images on —>@BombingScience

Al ALtelier Panama Mural Fest

Lastly, I want to give a big shout out to @atelierpanama which is a community space run by Angie, and Laura in center of city not far from our walls in barrio Santa Ana. It was a central location for artists to rest, eat, communicate with the group, sketch, and hold all our materials safe. It is also a safe space that helps to save kids lives. Free art classes are given to kids ages 6-12. If these kids were not in the classroom they would be out  in the barrio getting in trouble thru drugs, violence, and worst. I thank them eternally for their role in Panama Mural Fest and in their community space as an example of what is needed. They do it on their own, out of love because they care. We need more of that! Support folks making the world a better place for the generations to come so they can flip the script.

Over, and out. Hasta la proxima hermanos, y hermanas – TOOFLY

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