Meet Portugal’s oldest graffiti posse: a diverse clan of retirees, virally known as Graffiti grandparents.
These are the members of Lata 65, a WOOL Fest arts education group for seniors founded by Lara Rodrigues. For the past few years, Rodrigues has been dedicated to breaking down ageist stereotypes and cultural perceptions through her senior-focused theory seminars and two-day workshops.
In most cities, Cortesão would earn the title of the oldest graffiti artist in town, but not in Lisbon. Here, she is part of Lata65, an organisation that runs workshops for over-65s who are interested in making street art, at which the oldest participant today is 90-year-old Isaura Santos Costa. There are also several octogenarians among the group of eight women and three men, who have been dubbed the “graffiti grannies”, the youngest of whom is 59.
This Lisbon workshop is the latest in a series that Lata65 has run across Portugal and next month the organisation will implement its first international course – three workshops in São Paulo, Brazil, which the organisers hope will be the beginning of a larger international phase for the project.
At the end of each session, the founder takes her class to the streets for a practical application of her lessons. These involve students’ handmade stencils and copious amounts of spray paint.