Since 2013, the Que Ladeira é Essa? Cultural Center and the MUSAS graffiti collective have brought color and art to the walls of 120 houses (80% of total residences) along Salvador’s historic Ladeira da Preguiça, which likely dates back to the 17th century. The open air art gallery in the city’s historic center seeks to use graffiti to draw attention to public authorities’ disregard for the street, as well as the encroachment of real estate speculation, which has been driving out residents, mostly low income people of African descent.
In 2013, these same concerns motivated the creation of the Que Ladeira é Essa? Cultural Center, an idea of activists and area residents, led by artist, writer and community leader Marcelo Teles, the space’s current director. In addition to art, sports and education activities, the association also offers residencies to visiting visual artists in Salvador, in exchange for workshops in the community.