What might be the longest wall in the capital of Chile was, in three days, turned into a visual manifesto for world peace.
With the double incentive of having at their disposal an artistic canvas of an exceptional nature and of making something worthy of being entered into the book of Guinness World Records, a small group of enthusiasts worked for almost a year to bring together and organize more than 100 groups and individual artists who would be divided up along a wall that that borders the streets and houses of a vast working-class neighborhood in Peñalolén (*Reunión de hermanos*, in Mapudungún, the Mapuche language).
Each one relied on the support both of the organizers and the capital municipality, the paint donated by a company in the trade, and the hospitality and friendliness of the neighborhood residents, who stopped by to admire the painting process and to contribute refreshing drinks.
Among the graffiti artists involved were those who had come from Canada, Marsella, Costa Rica, Spain, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, as well as other parts of Chile. *“This mural is going to change the face of the neighborhood,”* said one resident, *“because until now it’s been known as the neighborhood where Cisarro lives,”* alluding to a juvenile delinquent who became famous for his recurrent violent actions.
The motifs of the paintings reflect not only the particular language of current graffiti trends but also the diverse visions that street artists have on the themes of peace and violence. Gun violence, the destruction of the environment, the hope for love to be a way out of the lack of communication and urban isolation in cities, the rejection of nuclear armament, racial intolerance, admiration for Obama and Gandhi, and the beautiful and complex signatures of the artists formed a kaleidoscopic message that, without a doubt, would give the residents who pass by the almost two kilometers of the Wall for Peace every day something to think about.
They devoted almost ten hours a day, in some cases, to complete their respective sections of the wall. Their commitment to the World March for Peace and Nonviolence added to the prestige and satisfaction of participating in such a monumental project and the happiness of sharing a unique experience with so many “colleagues” in a trade where one must habitually “steal” walls in order to make his art.
The enthusiastic support given by Mayor Claudio Orrego de Peñalolén was joined by the organization of volunteer promoters from the World March for Peace and Nonviolence; through World Without Wars, they contacted various organizations of graffiti artists: Calquín, Siembra ARTE, Chile Estencil, Brócoli, and DASIC. Thanks to them, the logistical and organizational support of the Fundación Conciencia, and the donation of 5,000 spray cans and other paint by Marson Street Art, Sunday the 15th concluded the titanic effort of painting the longest wall in history, a work that has already formally requested its entry into the world records.
*“To raise awareness for the necessity of peace and to change the world”*: as of today, this desire of Daniela Hirsch, one of the organizers of the Wall for Peace, has a formidable public display, exposed to the looks and reflections of thousands of passersby; it will make them think.
*(Translation: T. M. Orzolek)*
[Rafa Edwards day 1](http://www.flickr.com/photos/rafa2010/sets/72157622672309689/)
[Rafa Edwards day 2](http://www.flickr.com/photos/rafa2010/sets/72157622688744441/)
[Ricardo de la Fuente day 1](http://www.flickr.com/photos/delaefe/sets/72157622676055915/)
[Ricardo de la Fuente day 2](http://www.flickr.com/photos/delaefe/sets/72157622683605007/)
[Nicolas Santa Maria](http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolassantamaria/sets/72157622678349935/)
[Wall for Peace website](http://www.muroporlapaz.com/)