These Grannies Spend Their Days Tagging Walls with Graffiti

What would you like to do when you retire? Move to a tropical climate, perhaps? Live it up in a private resort community? How about making kick-ass street art with other retirees? Thanks to Lata65, an organization that runs workshops for people over 65, those interested in the last option might get the chance to do it—and without getting arrested for vandalism.

“I don’t paint on walls every day; I need to have the nerve to do it. And the spray cans get heavy so it’s better if I have a friend along to help carry them,” 65-year-old Luísa Cortesão told The Guardian.

Cortesão isn’t alone. The Lisbon-based program is currently enjoyed by many people over 65, with the oldest being 90 year old Isaura Santos Costa. They’ve been dubbed “graffiti grannies” for obvious reasons.

"Graffiti granny" Aida Alves.
“Graffiti granny” Aida Alves.

The mastermind behind the program is architect Lara Seixo Rodrigues, who says she was inspired when older people took an interest in a street art festival she helped organize.

“Each year we ran the festival I noticed it was the older people, not the younger ones, who were really engaged,” she says. “They were our companions at all hours, day and night, asking us questions about how it was done and commenting on what the paintings represented. I realized there was a real interest in street art among this age group.”

“The more I paint, the more I want to paint,” says 66 year-old Olinda Rodrigues. “I didn’t really like street art that much before this; I always thought it was just kids making a mess of the walls. But now I understand the history behind it and the way of thinking and I appreciate the artists more.”

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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.


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