Said Dokins and the artist collective Lapiztola were recently invited to take part of the second edition of the Wall Dialogue project in Mexico City for which they painted this new mural thought as a reflection about the complex identity codes of La Merced’s neighbourhood in Mexico City.

La Merced is a historic, traditional and unique neighbourhood in Mexico City, where commercial activities have been developed for more than five centuries. La Merced Market is the most important in the city. It is currently experiencing a major change due to gentrification, where processes of social exclusion and dispossession of employment sources of local people have resulted in a “social cleansing” that only benefits the big investors.

The mural depicts the stenciled portrait of a girl wearing a typical dress from Oaxaca (in the La Merced Market, most of the population comes from Oaxaca and Chiapas to sell their products), while Said Dokins inscribe with his personal calligraphic style the words ‘DEL BARRIO’ and within them the poem ‘My Merced’ by Natalia Saucedo. written when she was 12 years old, the poem describes the feelings of the people in the market that have been victims of the changes the neighbourhood has undergone in recent years.

Created in a public and visited space, the intentions of this project was to incentivize a discussion focused on the relationship between urban art and undergoing gentrification processes.

The first part of the exhibition series Wall Dialogue took part in Berlin in 2015, and featured amongst others the Berlin based artists Johannes Mundinger and BLO. The second edition of the dialogue will be broadened with the artist couple Billy and Mernywernz from UK, Nelio from France, Pao Delfin, Libre, Said Dokins and Lapiztola from Mexico.

Wall Dialogue targets to feature international urban artists and bring their various forms of expression into an international dialogue and to create a physical space of exchange – this time in the popular neighbourhood of La Merced. With regard to current processes of gentrification in the neighbourhood, the artists of Wall Dialogue, alongside the platform of Nuestro Barrio, will be searching for new perspectives in the realm of urban art and community necessities.

My Merced (Fragment) Natalia Saucedo. 2002

Alert in my heart the market that saw me grow up
Cruelly falls little by little
My life runs here
I can’t let it go.
From here I hear the noise of machines
Little by little
My market destroy
Ladies and gentlemen, without a job have been left
Be strong
Those who love the market crying inside,
Smiling outside
Withered heart
Traveling hope.

 

Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.