Street Art stroll in Reunion Island
Whether you are a graffiti fan or not, if you are sensitive to art, these walks organized by the West Tourist Office will immerse you in Street Art in Reunion. Local and metropolitan artists, today Street Art is no longer just a matter of insiders!
What is a Zarlor ?
Zarlor is a creol word that means « treasure » !
But here, ” Zarlor ” are activities, recommendations (guided tours, sport or cutltural activities…) highlighted by the Tourist Office to discover or re discover the West part of the island.
Breakfast on the sea front
No, it doesn’t start with breakfast. But having an appointment at 9 a.m. at the landing stage of Saint-Paul on the Sea Front, it makes you want to arrive earlier to sit at a terrace for a coffee.
Fortunately, we will end the activity with a small snack facing the sea, great setting! So we join Ti Mat, our guide – scout of the West – for the morning. Not far from where the famous Saint-Paul market takes place every Friday!
Street Art’s Origins
Once the group is complete, we begin this walk with a little bit of context. What is the origin of graff, graffiti (plural) in Italian?
This goes back to the dawn of time… to prehistory with the caves of Lasco, in Pompeii where prices were written on the wall, but also messages of love, or political… transcribed with the means at hand.
Paris under the bombs!
Nothing to do with war, eh, we are pacifists! We are talking here about the spray of paint that arrived with the rise of the automobile industry in the 1960s. The “modern ” graffiti explodes… not in Paris, but in New York, on the subway trains! In a 1st time not necessarily very aesthetic for sure, since it was most often “tags” to affix your ” blaze ” (pseudonym) everywhere.
It is over time, graffiti artists and the evolution of techniques that graffiti has become more sophisticated and “cool”. Municipalities today even call on artists to beautify their buildings and modernize their cities.
Now that we’ve all learned the basics, let’s go for a visit to Saint-Paul, a real street art open-air museum. Without revealing the whole activity from A to Z, we start not far from there, towards the town hall. This is where Ti Mat will introduce the walk with the beautiful Latin quote that sits at the building’s entrance “Florebo quocumque fairer”, we’ll let you find the translation!
Then as we go along the street corners, we will discover or rediscover graffiti, each more beautiful, surprising or wacky than the other. Between the different collaborations of artists, from Reunion, Paris or elsewhere, Ti Mat explains to us different graffiti techniques. Spray, roller, brush, collage, stencil, real plastic art techniques.
Cheating a little or not?
Well, we must admit, with Romain, we are not completely novices, so we sometimes know the answer to Ti Mat’s questions. Already, we have had the opportunity several times to catch paint bombs, young or old. We also attended a lot of exhibitions in Paris during our studies and we also know some local graffiti artists. People of our age, from school or from when I was at the fine arts at the Port. Kid Kréol and Boogie, OneShoz, Mumushick, Paulinette… a great vintage from the local scene. It’s classy to take this Street Art walk and have your friends’ works explained to you! Big Up!
What about graffiti… carriers of messages?
And yes, in addition to being beautiful (it depends on which ones and tastes of course!!!), graffiti sometimes have messages to convey. Political, ecological, feminist… do not hesitate to look at some of them to understand their hidden meaning!
Like for example the paint « L’atlas » from Ceet and Abeil One artists and its giant panda who carries a wordl made of fun and colored chicken.
Or « The Black Dog » by Jean Marc Lacaze and all its references which seem to be taken from the Bible, Egypt, tarot… a real mix of mythologies.
But we’re not going to explain you everything… We’ll leave it up to you to ask Ti Mat all that during your Street Art stroll!
A bit hungry after the Street Art stroll?
We’ve been walking around town for almost 2 hours in search of hidden works on the walls! Back at the landing stage where there are some magnificent paints that we saw performed live during the Festival Réunion Métis which we warmly recommend, Ti Mat offers us a fresh and homemade herbal tea and a delicious slice of brioche (with geranium hummm…) facing the sea. A sweet way to end this lovely stroll in Saint-Paul.
For those who want to take the discovery further, the tourist office also offers a Street Art ride on an electric bike in the city of Le Port. On our side, we will be watching for the next dates, on good terms, hello.
This Zarlor « Street Art Stroll » on foot in Saint-Paul includes the 2-hour visit with Ti Mat, guide from the Tourist Office and a snack (brioche and cold herbal tea). It starts at 9 a.m. in front of the landing stage.
The price is 11€ per person.
For all the details about this activity and to book your Zarlor Street Art Stroll, it’s on the West Tourist Office (in french).
Remember to take sneakers and water, sunscreen and a cap just in case.
And to find all our activities in Réunion, it’s here !