Gambian Art: Unique Graffiti Yields Big Tourism Gains

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One gambian village Galoya is reaping the benefits of a unique local graffiti scene with its one-of-a-kind murals who have helped transform it into a popular tourism destination.

The quiet village of Galoya is home to an innovative project called Wide Open Walls. From shops to houses to official buildings, the walls are covered in striking murals.

MODOU BAH VILLAGE ELDER “Many of these paintings when you look across the country you will not find them because they are special paintings and they attract tourists. When people see from the internet they are encouraged to come and from that, we can have funds from these people to develop the youth.”

Jibril Ahmed is part of the more than a-hundred young people who founded this project.

JIBRIL AHMED ARTIST “I started with machinery, then later joined painting and I really love it because I’ve gotten a lot of experience ever since I started in 2016.”

After watching foreign artists create huge designs, Ahmed has learned enough to earn a living from his murals.

JIBRIL AHMED ARTIST “Njogu Bah sponsors us with paint so that we paint some of the walls and at times trains us on how we can make it better.”

The murals have left their mark on the village in more ways than one. As part of the project, artists hold painting workshops for children. And some of the funds raised have been earmarked for a new nursery school.

MODOU BAH VILLAGE ELDER “The project was looking for donors for sponsoring the school kids, small kids are too much on the village, they don’t have where to go and begin their education at nursery.”

From far away, Galoya may not seem like much. But up close, it’s an ever-changing exhibition of locals’ creativity.

DM, CGTN

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