Street Art Tour

Flood channel, school yard and „under the bridge“: A city tour of Dresden’s street art

School gym located in the south of Dresden; Photo: Charlotte Töwe

As an out-of-towner enquiring about Dresden’s street-art scene, one is bound to end up in the city’s Neustadt, a hip quarter filled with popular shops, back yards and trendily dilapidated old buildings. Yet crews that are well known for their graffiti art, such as the “Bandits” or “BSX”, need bigger spaces and surfaces in quieter environments.

Many graffiti artists take their passion to the city’s outer circles and surroundings, because suitable spaces located in industrial areas near the city centre are being torn down. Dresden’s city council, however, has expressed an interest in this form of youth culture and aims at legalizing this type of art by creating legal zones for professional graffiti artists. The goal is to integrate their artwork into both urban reconstruction processes and the cityscape.

The youth club “Spike Dresden” emerged as an important lobbyist for the establishment of so-called “Legal Plains”. Award-winning graffiti artists take up the role of gatekeepers; they are included in the club’s youth work scheme and bring their protégés when the city offers new major projects.

After reunification, hip-hop and breakdance have become essential elements of Dresden’s new youth culture, also closely linked to street art. Changes in urban architecture, swiftly abandoned factories, and spaces between buildings were among the catalysts that drove Dresden’s flourishing street-art scene.

The ten stops

Neustadt DREWAG
Flood channel Blue tunnel
Orange tunnel Geograffiti
Skatepark Strehlen Spike Dresden
Bridge gallery Mitte station
Charlotte Töwe
spent her childhood and youth in Dresden. In 2003 she moved to Leipzig for her studies, where she still lives today. Since graduating in theatre studies, comparative literature and journalism, she has been working as a freelance arts journalist.

Translation: Sara Jabril
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
March 2013

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