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I follow quite a few street artists on Instagram. One day I saw Vlekart aka Arne Wilhelm Tellefsen posting pictures from an underpass. I didn't recognize the place, so I had to ask him where this was. He told me where to find it. The place is Grim outside the city center of Kristiansand (southern Norway). The railway passes through the district, but an underpass allows people to cross from one side to the other without having to cross the tracks. For as long as I can remember this underpass has not been very attractive. It's not often I come here anyway. Certainly never alone after dark! The walls were covered with taggings that has nothing to do with art.
Before the walls were dark yellow. Now they are bright and blue. Along both walls he has painted figures with signs. Some of the signs have been given content. The idea is that those who pass by can write on the signs and thus convey a message or whatever they want- a wall you can express yourself freely on. The figures are also reminiscent of activists who speak out in this way, calling for awareness.
Since the intention is that everyone can express themselves by writing on the signs, the content will change over time and reflect our society and whatever we are concerned with. I'm not the only one who thinks this has become a really cool place. While I was taking pictures, a lady came walking. She lives here and told me that she goes this way every day to work. She had therefore seen the artist while he was working. She also said that he has had several young people with him as helpers.
Not long ago I read about the project in the local newspaper. It turns out that there has been a collaborative project between Kristiansand municipality, Tellefsen and a youth project (RIO Kreativ Recovery) which is aimed at young people 16 -25. Youth who fall outside due to drug addiction or psychiatry, to help them figure out what it takes to recover. I know about RIO because of my job as a social worker with young people. This special assignment has already led to two young people being back getting on with their education. Another cool art project with a purpose, in my home town.
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The train station has had a facelift (Kristiansand, Norway)
All the photoes are mine, Ulla Jensen (flickr, Instagram and facebook)
[//]:# (!pinmapple 58.148163 lat 7.996539 long STREET ART #78 – Activists are speaking up (Kristiansand, Norway) d3scr)
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