Connecting Miami and Maputo through Street Art and Recreation, AptART 2021

AptART (Awareness and prevention through Art) has been busy creating playful murals connecting youth between Miami, USA and Maputo, Mozambique.

In our technological and globalized world, cultures are constantly mixing, exchanging and evolving. To create even more exchange, a youth group in the Khongolote Bairro of Maputo, Mozambique, began corresponding via videos with a group of youth in Miami, Florida, USA. Through the ongoing exchange, the two groups share their respective culture and community. In addition to video correspondence, each group creates public art.

The youth in Khongolote are all members of Maputo Skate, an organization providing free access to skateboarding and education through a skatepark. Built by Wonders Around the World and Skate World Better, a loaner board program supported by Donate For Skate and Make Life Skate Life and classes run by Francisco Vinho.

After workshops and discussions between the kids in Maputo and artist Pat Perry, a skateboarder wearing a bag full of books would be the most appropriate representation. The skateboarder is surrounded by all the ideas and images the youth of Khongolote dreamed up, including mini ramps, skatepark pockets, skateboards, hopscotch, machambas (gardens), capulanas and tons of other imagery.

The wall faces traffic on a main street of the Khongolote Bairro, expressing new elements of youth culture in Maputo to all who pass by.

The wall is shared with students in Miami at The Cushman School, who continued their correspondence and created a mural of their own titled “Play”.

Whether volleyball, skateboard riding or chasing a metal hoop with a stick, there is a universal human love of recreation. To celebrate this love and other human universalities, youth from Miami, USA, and Maputo, Mozambique, met on video conference calls to chat about their lives more than 13,000 kilometres apart.

They shared elements of life they have in common, from climate and plant life close to the ocean to food and sports. The students then transformed the ideas into stencils symbolizing things shared by both locations and things uniquely Miami.

With the help of Young Jarus, the students then painted their ideas around an image of one of the participants holding a ball.

In addition to painting the wall, the students at Cushman school also customized skate decks for their new friends at Maputoskate Maputo, where skateboards are often in short supply. Still, the stoke for riding them is always plentiful.

This project is a partnership with The Good Works Foundation made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique and The One BlueSky project.

Credit Aptart

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