At first glance, dodging the ubiquitous mountains of dog shit, shattered glass and gamines (street people), this part of town feels decidedly unsafe and edgy and after a certain hour this is certainly the case.
But, taking a midday stroll while the students from 5 universities are on their lunch hour renders the Candelaria harmless and one can inspect with further intensity the high quality of political graffiti that adorns the walls of the birthplace of contemporary Colombia.
Just blocks from where the Conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada decided to rest and let his horses drink from the brook in 1538, one can find some real gems that go a long way in illustrating attitudes of students and graffiti artists in these politically charged times.
This series of photographs show the point of view and graphic prowess of one of these artists. With elections set for 2010, there will surely be more. My investigations have not revealed the identity of Juega Siempre beyond his MySpace page.
All photos courtesy of Richard McColl.