Barbed wire fences, deserted streets, security guards bearing shotguns... It all sounds like the scene from a thriller film. But it's no movie. This is San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the world's most violent city. But culture has allowed the city to change for the better

Recently San Pedro Sula got the chance to change its reputation thanks to its graffiti artists whose brightly coloured murals are popping around the city. Rei Blinky is this project's pioneer: he was the first artist who ventured out to paint on the city's practically deserted streets. The war between the different gangs is on going and no one knows when a shooting might break out. You can be walking in the street and “catch” a bullet.

Today the city is dominated not only by gangs, but also by artists. Blinky was the pioneer, but his movement is constantly expanding turning some parts of the city into a true art scene. This in turn brings fame to many artists such as Baruc who pays homage to the women of Honduras and Carlos Badia who creates multimedia works.

People in San Pedro Sula recognise the problem with the gangs and arms in their city, but they also understand that they can't spend their lives in fear. If they don't want to go out on the streets with a gun, they should go out with a paintbrush.

The grafitti artists hope to connect with San Pedro Sula's youth many of whom flee the violent city. For today they have a difficult choice, either join a gang or run. Blinky and his fellow artists are trying to show another path, that of staying and building peace. The artists' main goal is to work with young people and children to take them off the streets and teach them about art. Blinky's art is spreading beyond Honduras, as his work is courageous, bright and unique. And he is giving San Pedro Sula the opportunity to change.


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