In October 2010, street artists Broken Crow, Bushdwellers, Eelus, Ian Cox (Wallkandy), Logan Hicks, Lucy McLauchlan, Mysterious Al, and Xenz traveled to Makasutu, the Gambia, and transformed the area into a living art village with WIDE OPEN WALLS: AN ART SAFARI. Makasutu is part of an 85-square-kilometer protected conservation area in Africa that includes 14 villages and 100,000 people. The project aims to boost tourism in this part of Africa with the larger goal of eradicating poverty in the Gambia—and on the continent.
Over the course of two weeks, the artists painted murals in various sizes and themes on the sides of buildings, retaining walls, houses, and even trees. Mythological human and animal figures come to life on crumbling walls and tilted shanties, giving these lonely villages a beautiful, other-worldly quality. The sponsors and artists hoped the project would investigate the following questions: How does the art benefit the village? How can public art help social problems? How does creativity effect social change in poor and rural communities? How can we tell the story of the village to the world?