Cabo Verde’s islands are full of colourful street art and murals. In this blog post I will share my favourite art I found visiting the four islands Santiago, São Vicente, Santo Antão and Sal.
You will generally find a huge variety of street art on the different islands which perfectly matches the already colourful houses. I couldn’t find an explanation for why there is so much urban and street art everywhere in Cabo Verde. Maybe one of the reasons is that art and culture in general have a massive significance in Cabo Verde.
I collected some of my favourite artwork on my trip through Cabo Verde, visiting Sal, São Vicente, Santiago, and Santo Antão.
Street Art on Sal
Turtles and tradition behind the market
If you follow the road to the Mercado Municipal of the more tourist city Santa Maria you can find all kinds of murals and art decorating the walls and streets. One shows a Cabo Verdian family and another one the importance of music in Cabo Verde. On the mural, you can see a painting of people dancing Funaná – an African dance style based on accordion music that was invented at the beginning of the 20th century on Santiago, the main island of Cabo Verde. I am not completely sure who the singer is though but I thought it could be Lucibela – because she started her career singing in hotels of Santa Maria.
My favourite mural
My favourite mural is in the capital of the city: Espargos. You can find this mural of different Cabo Verdian women in the Rua Morro Curral. It was created by the artist Adi Neves who also created another well-known mural of Cabo Verde you can find on the main road between the airport and Espargos.
Street Art on São Vicente
Cape Verdians most famous singer Cesária Évora
São Vicente’s capital Mindelo is especially famous for one particular mural in the centre of the city. It shows the world-known singer Cesária Évora (1941-2011). She was actually born in Mindelo and brought the Cabo Verdian music of Morna and Coladeira to the world’s attention. You will find a lot of pictures of her everywhere in Cabo Verde and this is by far not the only street art portrait of her but probably the biggest and for sure the most famous one. You can find it on the square Praça Dom Luís on the external wall of the Municipal Library of Mindelo.
The mural was created by the Portuguese artist Vhils. The portrait is so special because the artist did not use any paint to create it but actually carved the picture into the wall. Vhils used the same method to create a portrait of Amilar Cabral (1924-1973) who fought for the independence of Cabo Verde. You can find the portrait on the Escola Secundária Achada Grande Frente in Praia (Santiago). And this is the perfect transition to switch to the next island: Santiago.
Street Art on Santiago
The capital Praia offers a lot of colourful street art you can find especially in the two districts called Achada Grande Frente and Terra Branca. But also, on the plateau in the city’s heart is more to discover.
Daily life in Praia
Achada Grande Frente is located east of the city centre, between the harbour of Praia to the South and the international airport to the North. In this district, you can find all kinds of different murals of famous personalities representing the culture of the country but also art focusing on daily life in Cabo Verde. Here you can also find the portrait of Amilar Cabral of the artist Vhils (Escola Secundária Achada Grande Frente).
The mural below for example shows different daily occupations and tasks of people and animals living in Cabo Verde like fishing, field work, playing music, cooking and washing clothes.
Under the sea
The district of Terra Branca is located in the west of the city centre. It offers a lot of colourful murals along the square Praça da Terra Branca. Most of them belong to eighter the sea world or to the artist life in Cabo Verde. Rua D’Arte next to it offers a gallery called Galeria de Arte Tutu Sousa (Gallery of the art from the artist Tutu Sousa) but also a lot of art around.
Street Art on Santo Antão
Honestly, I did not see too much street art on the island. You can find most of the street art hidden between houses and landscapes in the bigger city of Ribeira Grande.
You have read the blog post Best Street Art murals on Cabo Verde on My Travel Journal-Blog.