LATA 65: Street Art for Seniors

Amelia Rowland

Do you ever wonder what you'll be like when you retire or get older? Will you start getting purple rinses, drown yourself in Earl Grey, maybe develop an unhealthy obsession with bingo? Perhaps you'll take up a watercolour class as you've heard that it's very relaxing. 

LATA 65 are throwing away the stereotypes branded on the senior citizens of Lisbon, and producing urban art workshops for senior citizens. The project began in 2012 and is far from a gimmicky click-bait as we see on their Google Cultural Institute page.

The initiative encourages the elderly members of the community to interact with their city in a new, physical way but also allows them to freely experiment with contemporary art. Street or urban art is being constantly redefined due to a number of factors; from its transition into national galleries (the classic example is the TATE street art exhibition of 2008) to it now being so easy to archive via social media (cheers, Instagram). LATA 65 are also bringing new meaning to urban art by challenging our understanding of who makes graffiti art or street art. It's not a kid with a baseball cap on backwards on a skateboard anymore.

LATA 65 are a reminder that street art can be fun, exciting and an interactive, expressive form of artmaking. Street art traditionally promotes experimenting with the city in a new, visual and textual way - who are better ambassadors than them?

Perhaps more importantly though LATA 65 are giving us a bit of a wake up call here - why aren't we offering more workshops like these to seniors and elderly people? Why can’t we teach some old dogs new tricks?

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