Protest & Street Art

If you would like to use (or adapt) one of these curricular units for teaching about street art or graffiti (in Spanish or as an art lesson, for example), please feel free to choose from the materials provided below. Please credit the teacher who made the unit.

Defending Day of the Dead Traditions, Oaxaca, November 2013 (S. Wood)

Curricula:  High School Art

“Jail for Graffiti Artists!” reads the writing across a bench top in Oaxaca: angry, sardonic, or tongue-in-cheek? (S. Wood, 2011)

“They will not shut us up!” Oaxaca graffiti, November 2013. (Photo, S. Wood)

“The Dialogue of Power” (Photo, R. Haskett, Oaxaca, 2009)

Copyright Free Photos for Instructional Use

Photos by Stephanie Wood

Itandehui, “El deleite de la transgresión: Graffiti, estencil, y arte urbano en Oaxaca,” is a web site that catalogues a vast range of protest and street art (of all types) in Oaxaca.  She also includes the work of other Mexican artists and even some artists in the U.S.  She has taken these photos, and she has given us permission to use her images as long as we credit her.
And here is a Radio Sombra podcast (in Spanish) of an interview with Itandehui made by Nicotina. (Click where it says “Download Here.”)

“Don’t let them touch you! Don’t let them silence you!” Graffiti/stencil in Chiapas, 2013. (E. Weisenbach)

“Silence kills. Press for your rights, woman!” Graffiti/stencil, Chiapas, 2013. (E. Weisenbach)

Photos by Leslie Pulé on Flickr (agrees we can use these)

Oaxaca street art piece.  (Photo, S. Wood, 2011)

Free Online Videos

Facebook Stills

Tonalli Jaguar, Mexico City. Screenshot from Facebook, Nov. 2013. (S. Wood)

Tonalli Jaguar, Distrito de Arte. Screenshot from Facebook, November 2013. (S. Wood)

NO Colectivo, Querétaro, México. Screenshot from Facebook, Nove,ber 2013. (S. Wood)

NO Colectivo, in Morelia, Michoacán, México. Screenshot from Facebook, Nov. 2013. (S. Wood)

Stencil workshop, Mexico City. Screenshot from Facebook, Nov. 2013. (S. Wood)


(free, online, full-text)

  • Itandehui Franco Ortiz, “El deleite de la transgresión: Graffiti y gráfica política callejera en la ciudad de Oaxaca,” (Licentiate’s Thesis in Ethnohistory, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City, 2010) (in Spanish, but the images are worth viewing even if you do not read Spanish)
  • Callegenera (“The street generates…”) is a catalogue from a month-long encounter of street artists that took place in Monterey, Mexico, in 2013.  It was perhaps the third or fourth such gathering, and there are more to come.  One can see the names of the artists, when they were born, and examples of their work.  (Note, however, that one artist is said to have been born in 1990, and he is actually older than that.)  As this shows, the movement is very large.
  • Arte Urbano, catalogue about contemporary “murals” in Michoacán, 2011–12. The use of the term murals is strategic, perhaps, because of the hallowed tradition of muralism in Mexico in the early twentieth century.
  • Tlakolulokos, a Oaxacan group’s website; these are youth who took part in the 2006 social movement, in the trenches, inside the barricades (“las barricades”), and then emerged about 2008 to express themselves more in artistic realms.
  • James Cockroft, “Street Art and the Splasher: Assimilation and Resistance in Advanced Capitalism”
  • Ivan Arenas, “The Social Life of Collective Memory: Oaxaca’s Material Reminders and Historical Remainders”
  • Gina Mejía, “Imprime dramatismo y tragedia,” (article in Spanish from El Imparcial, 9 Dic. 2013, about the ASARO artist César Chávez)

“The Streets Are Saying Things,” stencil of the name of a traveling exhibition. Oaxaca. (S. Wood, 2009)

“The Echo of the Silence of My Freedom” (Photo, R. Haskett, Oaxaca, 2009)

Must Write for Permission to Use

Yescka in the studio that was on Calle Fiallo, Oaxaca; Gabriela Martínez filming him at work (Photo, S. Wood)

A punk Frida Kahlo (near ASARO’s studio today) by Yescka. (Photo, S. Wood, Nov. 2013)

An ASARO graphic piece emphasizing “Made in Oaxaca” and showing a grasshopper (an item in the pre-Columbian diet). Made by Yescka. (Photo, S. Wood, Nov 2013)

(Oaxaca. S. Wood, Nov. 2013)

By Swoon, of New York, who came to paint in Oaxaca.  (Oaxaca. S. Wood, Nov. 2013)


See also our page on ASARO and our page on Gender.

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