When the streets become the gallery, street art of Oaxaca City

Traveling during Covid has changed the globe-trotting game. It’s changed the way we travel and also how we experience a place. Due to Covid restrictions, museums and galleries were closed, so the city streets became our gallery, which I prefer. The colorful architecture of Oaxaca City is covered by a layer of my favorite kind of art, street art. 

Akun Takil street art Oaxaca City

Street art Oaxaca City

Street art Oaxaca

Paying attention to street art can provide interesting lessons about a place, especially when recurring themes show up. Such was the case with a face and name that seemed to appear at every turn. The tags read Vive Tomas or Justica Tomas, along with a wheatpaste of a smiling face donning a sombrero. I couldn't help but wonder who was this Tomas and what was his story. 

Tomas Martinez Pinacho Oaxaca street art

His name is Tomas Martinez Pinacho and he was the founder of the Union of Poor Peasants and leader of the Popular Revolutionary Front, and an activist for justice. After a morning of protest Pinacho was gunned down by heavily armed men at a taqueria in broad daylight. The community believes there was government involvement and that his killers believed that his death would silence demands for equality, however, has only strengthened the determination for justice. 

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