Colour explodes, like peace bombs, from walls, Comuna 13, Medellin.
Comuna 13, is a deprived district of Medellin, striving to transcend a recent, bloody past, with vibrant graffiti.
There are still problems, but nowadays more paint is spilled than blood.
Comuna 13 is a once isolated shanty town, using art to open itself up to the lifeblood of tourism.
Lest we forget there are still ongoing tensions, at around 17:00 military police armed with automatic rifles began to deploy.
Their faces are hidden behind ski masks, heads protected by helmets and visors.
“mummy, mummy I want to shake the policeman’s hand”.
In amongst the swirl of tourists and locals, something beautiful happened a little boy said:
“mummy, mummy, I want to shake the policeman’s hand?”.
Comuna 13, Medellin – heart-rending image of hope.
So without further ado, he made beeline for the nearest militiaman, armed to the teeth.
You are not supposed to go near, let alone touch them, but innocence contrived to deliver a heart-rending image of hope.
The paramilitary smiled, hand briefly off the trigger and he reached out to clasp the little lad’s imploring digits.
(Check out the photos of Comuna 13, Medellin, as above).
So you are asking is it still too violent to visit?
The answer is in general no, not during the day.
Especially if you use common sense and behave with respect for a living community.
After all its a home
Should you pay to join a guided graffiti tour of Comuna 13?
I guess this depends, but on the evidence of my trip Id say it’s not necessary.
I prefer to absorb the street art osmotically, rather than to have it force fed.
How do I get to Comuna 13 Medellin?
You can get to Comuna 13 by Medellin’s famous multimodal public
This is one of the joys of the Medellin experience.
But if you only have limited by time, a taxi from the centre to Comuna 13 shouldn’t cost 13,000 COP ($4 USD), depending on the traffic.