Tijuana Colonias

Arte urbano y rehabilitación: activating Tijuana’s forgotten spaces

"There is no better gallery than the streets of Tijuana." --Mode, Tijuana urban artist

In Tijuana, urban art is everywhere, and artists find their most important contributions lie in the way their work can reactivate spaces that lie far beyond the official “front stage” of tidy commerce in the city.

As the urban theorist Michel de Certeau argued in The Practice of Everyday Life,  the itinerant movements of the poor and marginalized are most often ignored by official urban planning. Yet, validating the life and work of people struggling to survive  produces a “rich indetermination” –a “proliferating illegitimacy”—that “increasingly permits the re-emergence of the element that the urbanist project excluded.”


As urban artists traverse the pathways of the poor, they remap the city in the image of its travelers.  In La Zona Norte of Tijuana, urban artist Alonso Delgadillo leads a project to build new social bonds for one of Tijuana’s most vulnerable groups: migrants without homes or families.


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