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Graffiti and Street Art in Geneva

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«Les Grotte»
Street art can be seen all around the "Les Grottes" quarter (photo: Patrick Weber)

Graffiti in Geneva? Not as incongruous as it sounds!

On first thought, Geneva and graffiti do not seem to be two ideas that would go together. Graffiti between the ornate buildings of international organizations? The initial reaction is: no way! But when visitors take a closer look at these walls, they find themselves compelled to reconsider. This is because Geneva has an astoundingly lively street art scene.
Street art is present in most areas of the Calvinist city. One example of this presence is the central "Les Grottes" area, directly behind Geneva Cornavin train station. "Les Grottes" is a quarter that is popular among both artists and intellectuals, so it is almost predestined to be a hotspot of subversive culture. Take a short walk through this area and you will soon find something, most likely on Rue des Grottes or Rue Fendt.
Graffiti along the Rhône
Many walls are adorned with graffiti, especially along the Rhône (photo: Patrick Weber)

Local and International Artists at Work

Another part of the city that is popular with graffiti artists and street artists is Jonction, which is west of the city center. Several masterpieces, both large and small, can be found here, particularly along the Rhône river and around Pointe de la Jonction. This has led to Geneva not only producing its own talents such as Jazi and Serval, but has also drawn well-known, international artists and collectives such as MerlynOne and EDK Crew to the city.
Graffitis in Geneva
There are also sections of several buildings that are extravagantly adorned (photo: Patrick Weber)

Representation for All Styles

Geneva is also broadly diversified when it comes to style: Whether stylistic logos, popular cartoon characters or politically controversial murals - you can find everything here. In this way, there are no feuds between street art and graffiti in the Calvinist city (as is the case is other cities with such an active sub-culture). What's more, the city hosts Desstres, a non-profit organization that champions graffiti and street art. It organizes campaigns and events that aim to raise the public's awareness of the artistic achievements of street artists and is also drawing up a legal framework for graffiti.

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