As They Pass By – Walls of Connection

As They Pass By – Walls of Connection

Transforming a wall into a conversation piece:

Indigenous wall art in ‘As They Pass By – Walls of Connection’


The project ‘AS THEY PASS BY – Walls of Connection’ pays homage to four different indigenous cultures in four Latin American cities. Even though 50% of the world’s indigenous people live in urban areas, it is hard for indigenous communities to maintain their cultural identity and honour their cultural heritage in the cities.


This project is about culturally empowering urban indigenous peoples. By creating four murals with a different indigenous groups, the project will transform urban spaces. The murals will increase visibility, promote understanding and showcase pride of indigenous culture.


The communities collaborating in the project are the Zapotec community in Querétaro (Mexico), the Mapuche community in Valparaíso (Chile), the Guarani community in São Paulo (Brazil) and the the Misak community in Bogotá (Colombia). See here the pictures of the first wall, which was created this August in Colombia by the indigenous Misak Misak community. Mexico will be next up this autumn, for an exciting new mural, peace-talk and several workshops in Queretaro!


The goal of this initiative by MasterPeace is to inspire pride and empower cultural expression through art! With the process of painting and building community engagement around each wall, the mural project should also be a catalyst for conversation, respect and mutual understanding in the cities.


Céline van Dormalen is MasterPeace’s Regional Director in Europe and comes from a Chilean-Mapuche-Pehuenche background herself. “I believe in the power of indigenous street art. It is a modern form of storytelling to connect with other people and to show indigenous pride beyond borders”. 


Jimmy Nelson is just as enthusiastic: “With the murals we celebrate beauty and create pride. Indigenous cultures have knowledge that we in the Western world are not paying attention to. By creating visibility, we can connect different worlds.”


This project will enable local indigenous artists like Victor López to show their talents and pay a thematic tribute to each of the earth’s directions of the Medicine Wheel, an important symbol in many indigenous cultures (hence four different cities!). Watch a preview of the project here.


The project has started this summer of 2017, but you can still be part of this!


Donate or become a Friend of the Jimmy Nelson Foundation.



MasterPeace is an award-winning grassroots peace movement that officially launched in 2011, with hubs  in Cairo, Utrecht, Tbilisi, and Mexico City and is currently active through MasterPeace Clubs in 45+ countries, primarily in conflict areas, involving thousands of young peace builders.


MasterPeace’s vision is to inspire everyone to use their talent and energy for building peace and togetherness. MasterPeace will help lead the way to a more sustainable world and bring people together using music, art, creativity, positivity and inspiration.