Street art and urban interventions in North Rhine-Westphalia became the focus for a group of six visitors who were in NRW as part of the CityLeaks Festival from 18th to 22nd September. The festival guests included originators, directors and artists who came from Mexico, Finland, Spain, Uruguay, Russia and Thailand. This biennial festival, which took place in 2019 for the fifth time, explores urban space with both an academic and artistic eye but also looks at legal, cultural and politico-economic norms and power relationships.
Under the practised eye of street art expert Konstantin Zayka, Kj263, the guests went on a street art walkabout through representative districts in Düsseldorf followed by a meeting with Robert Kaltenhäuser, street art expert and curator, Klaus Richter, curator and acting director of the cultural forum Alte Post in Neuss, and artist Marc Henning of MaJo Brothers.
Also in Düsseldorf the guests met with Iren Tonoian, director of CityLeaks Urban Art Festival and founding member of artrmx e.V., and Marje Hirvonen, festival artist.
In Herne the guests were introduced to Zekai Fenerci, artistic director of Herne-based Pottporus e.V., Anna-Lena Werner, project manager for Pottporus e. V., and artists Gigo Propaganda and Ursula Meyer. In Dortmund the programme included an investigation into the urban art scene and a meeting with David Kory, director of Die Urbanisten e.V. This was followed by a meeting with artist and curator Laila Schubert from Atelier Amore – Verein für urbane und bildende Künste e.V., and artist Steffen Mischke.
Street art expert and gallerist Klaus Rosskothen guided the guests through the Düsseldorf urban art scene. And in Cologne there were tours to Hidden Spaces (re:framing Lichtstraße) and street art in the Belgian Quarter and in the district known as Köln-Ehrenfeld with Sascha Klein from the CityLeaks Festival and a street art expert.