They are not your usual european tourists, equipped in those white sneakers white knee-high socks combo, they don’t go around Colosseum in groups of 30 with omnipresent CD-guides in their hands. They forbid themselves from getting bored, forgotten, mocked or classified as uncool. In fact, they are the new cool, who decided to replace bingo and napping with spray cans and personalized tags.
Lata 65 is a Lisbon-based organization which organizes workshops teaching the elderly about street art. Its founder-Lara Pebble Rodrigue, aims at bridging the gap between generations, by engaging senior citizens in something usually considered as a ‘youth’ thing-graffiti, street art and tag designs.
What initially started as a one-time project is now a 100-members organization, which conducts its trainees through a 3-step process. First, the participants learn about street art, very often from street artists themselves. Then they design and develop their own tags and after some time and little boost of confidence from fellow partakers, they embark on the streets of Porto and spray their hearts out.
That clever initiative not only takes the elderly out of their apartments or retirement homes, gives them joy, fun and the feeling of being a part of a cool initiative, but also shows how easily the stereotypes can be abolished. After all, who would ever think that this awesome, colorful, eye-catching elephant mural is a creation of a 70-year-old granny? Wasn’t she supposed to attend her book club or church choir at that time? Absolutely not!