Everybody thinks that the art of graffiti is something that only young people practice. Putting bandannas over their faces, taking a backpack full of spray-paint cans with them and go off into the night looking for a good wall to bring their creation to life.
Well, in Lisbon, Portugal, old people doing graffiti is a thing. In fact there are more than 100 of them. This is a project aimed at involving senior citizens in understanding the history of this modern day street art, where it originated from and what it intends to do. They also go into run-down parts of the city and liven up the place a bit by doing their own stencil works and tags, learning to work the spray-paints.
The project is called LATA 65 where”lata” stands for “can” in Portuguese and “65” is the minimum age of the participants. Old people doing graffiti isn’t something happening just this year. It’s been going on for three years now and it’s the brain child of two Lisbon-based artists: architect Lara Seixo Rodrigues, who also runs a local street art festival called Wool Fest, and Fernando Mendes, a designer and co-founder of Cowork Lisboa.
They began the project in 2012, doing 15-day workshops. Today they enroll senior citizens from all over Portugal. The average age of their students is 74, but some can also be as old as 92, Rodrigues said in an interview.