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Photographer's Note

I think that no one on TE showed the view of this interesting small street in Ghent. I read about it before my going to Belgium, it would be difficult to notice it by chance even walking nearby.
What was once simply an unimpressive alley connecting the streets of Hoogpoort and Onderstraat is now an ever shifting kaleidoscope of graffiti. The constantly changing, two block expanse was officially converted into the cacophonous mash-up of throw-ups it is today, way back in 1995 as part of the Ghent Festivities festival. After that first time, the city decided to simply make the alley a permanent exhibition of graffiti, open to anyone who would like to come and express themselves. The only rule, respect finer work than your own.

Of course this move was not solely a move to honor street artists. By making a street where graffiti was sanctioned, the city hoped that it would act as a magnet, keeping random acts of graffiti off of the city’s impressive collection of historic buildings. So far, the experiment seems to be working, as the rest of Ghent seems to be relatively graffiti free.

As an added bonus, the street itself has become a popular site for tourists and locals alike who come to see the street that is never the same twice. And lest anyone think that a street devoted to graffiti might become a cesspool of filth and crime, despite having no trash cans, the alley remains surprisingly clean. Fun fact!

I dedicate this picture to Ike who showed us the gallery of graffitis.
I have more pictures if it would be interesting for you:).

Bigger beta picture

Other views
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here

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11438 W: 123 N: 29187] (137654)
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