Posted May 5th 2016 at 10:29 am by
in Art

Poetry on the walls in Panama City

Someone in Panama City hates social media and loves romance. This person is probably the poet and artist Alfredo Belda, who is known for writing on the walls of deserted buildings. He writes in cursive with spray paint. I recently saw his work while visiting the old Spanish Quarter of Panama City, in the neighborhoods of San Felipe and Santa Ana.

While Belda’s handwriting has become identifiable, he may be one of several artists writing on buildings. Indulge your inner graphologist and decide for yourself whether the messages in the photos below are by Belda, or by other wall writers. The first three in this sequence are Belda’s work. Poetry on the walls in Panama City

“When your tongue met my tongue it trembled a little in paradise.”

(I’m giving you my rough Spanish translations here — how I read these in English when I saw them, before I could consult a fluent Spanish speaker or Google Translate. ) Poetry on the walls in Panama City
“I don’t have Instagram my memory is photographic.” Poetry on the walls in Panama City

“I don’t have facebook my life is real.”  As this journalist observed, the anti-social media messages are a little ironic, given that the wall writings have gained much of their notoriety thanks to shares on Facebook and Instagram. Poetry on the walls in Panama City
“Respect is fundamental for every human being.” Poetry on the walls in Panama City

“My eyes filled with love when I saw you smile.”

Post and photos by Alexa Mills, Research Affiliate at MIT CoLab. Follow her at @alexatimeaus.

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