Blank firewalls are witnesses of a city in constant change. Budapest is famous for its architecture, but its weathered firewalls provide a disappointing spectacle. The team of Colorful City works on tranfsorming our cityscape and dedicates a month long festival to the rejuvenation of 12 surfaces.
Until 2008, coloring up public spaces in a legal way, not with promotional purposes had been unknown in Hungary. A group of creatives thought then, that the best way to refresh Budapest’s weathered areas was to give unused surfaces new colors. They launched a civil based project to bring Victor Vasarely’s Colorful City concept alive - bringing art out from the galleries and setting its foot on the streets and public spaces. The concept was published in 1983, and by 2014, it is more than alive – Colorful City is the first association, which colors public spaces, and thanks to them, more than 20 000 m2 walls had been painted anew.
The road had been though – without precedent, the team first needed to build connections with the city’s decision makers, local governments, and urban development specialists. Fortunately, the movement received a positive welcome, and many walls around the city prove that it was worth it all. Although the initiators of Colorful City are outsiders in the world of graffity or street art, their enthusiasm inspired talented artists. Collaborations crystallize in works of art such as the firewall of Merlin in Deák square, firewalls of Kazinczy street, or the walls and pillars of busy transport hubs across the city.
In August, a month long festival is dedicated to this new artform. The Colorful City Strongbow Festival is the first of its kind in Hungary. It is organized around the rejuvenating of 12 firewalls by both local and foreign urban artists, focusing on showcasing the diversity of our country - attempting to lure tourists to visit not only Budapest, but other cities in its area as well. 100 music events, various roundtable discussions and Budapest themed slam poetry nights support the festival. The painting of the walls will be recorded and famous directors will edit it – so I’m sure we won’t have to be afraid to miss the results.
The festival will be held between 15 August – 19 September.