In Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca, a group of Mexican artists, known as Benni Cubi, has sought to bond the city’s elderly with its younger generation through a series of colorful murals. The murals are portraits of model elderly citizens who’ve been recognized as hardworking.
“I think that through those urban murals we have been able to get the young people to turn around and look at their grandparents,” Jose Arenas, one of the project’s artists, told AJ+. “We were able to show that elders are also important in our community. We’ve seen that young people are spending more time sitting down to talk to the grandparents and getting to know their stories.”
According to Arenas, the portraits have been an opportunity to recognize the elders’ efforts within their community. The murals depict several seniors: Unión Hidalgo’s oldest grandma, 103-year-old Na Reyna, 105-year-old railroad worker Chente Doy, and 96-year old tortilla maker Na Sostena, among others. So far, nine murals have been painted by the group.
This is not the first time the city of Oaxaca has relied on art as a means of self-expression. Nine years ago, graphic designers Rosario Martínez and Roberto Vega utilized murals for political and artistic expression.