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artists spray painting a wall

How Latin American street artists are giving Londoners a taste of their culture

By Kassandra Jimenez
January 22 2020, 15.00

Colourful Latin American street art brightens London’s walls both north and south of the river.

Street artists like Vanessa Moncayo, a Colombian toy designer, want to introduce their country and culture to the British public through their paintings.

Ms Moncayo said: “It is really interesting how through art you can motivate people to be interested in my culture”.

She has completed commissions for Kew Gardens and the Tate Modern and her work can be spotted all over London.

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By using bright colours and impactful images she wants to highlight elements of her cultural past and integrate them with the present to help her define her new identity, and the marriage of two cultures.

Ms Moncayo said: “Through art I want to show positive things about my country. If I can have that impact in at least one person I think that helps our country and Latin America”.

Ecuadorian street artist Edwin, who did not want to give his full name, focuses on his heritage and respect for nature in his work.

The south London resident wants to bring something different to the city’s streets, and he has done so in places like Stockwell, Croydon and Shoreditch.

He said: “Locals have their own style, but I think people like to see something different.

“Even though I do this mainly for myself, because it’s something I enjoy, it feels good when someone says: ‘Thanks for sharing your culture’.”

The Latin American community in the capital is small, but according to the ‘Towards Visibility’ report by Queen Mary University of London, currently Latin Americans are the eighth largest non-UK born community in the city.

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