In Kosovo, graffiti rejuvenates Pristina’s concrete jungle

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Known as the capital of concrete, Pristina is trying to revitalize its dull and grey image with vivid graffiti on walls and buildings, helping transform public spaces into more inviting, vibrant areas.

More than 100 artists from 28 countries have covered 2000 square meter of walls at Rruga B (Street B) in the city with art at a festival over the past three days. This road divides old communist buildings on the west with new ones on the east, which all have one thing in common – scant space for public use and an abundance of concrete.

“When you see the concrete, it gives the impression that it is still under construction,” said Agon Xhelili, organizer of the festival, Meeting of Styles Kosovo. “When artists see these locations they say: ‘hell, this is the best place to paint’.” The non-profit organisation of the same name, Meeting of Styles, was created in the mid-90s in Germany, supporting artists who could legally paint thousands of square meters of abandoned areas.

Since its creation, it has organized more than 400 events such as the one in Pristina, helping thousands of artists all over the world. Daniel Sharon, an artist from London participating in the event with his brother, was painting motifs from the 1950s black and white horror film, Creature from the Black Lagoon.

“I think it will be really positive (visually and for tourism) if they allowed more public art murals,” said Sharon. After the war ended in Kosovo in 1999, the Balkan country saw a boom in construction, though the government has said more than 70% of all apartments and houses were constructed without official approval.

The government has promised to legalise most of them.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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