Members of the Compañía Juvenil de Danza Contemporánea, a youth dance company at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), salute the Mexican flag during their performance of “Gestos Muertos” in the Palacio de la Escuela de Medicina in downtown Mexico City. The choreography represents gestures that people make throughout the day. Dancers perform the choreography on the auditorium’s seats, while the audience sits on the stage.
Bboy Daygo practices before the finals of “Rumbo a Pura Calle 2019,” a breaking and hip-hop competition at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “What I like the most about breaking is that it is infinite — you never stop learning — and it helps you be unique as a person,” says Daygo. “It’s very important to feel special in order to be happy.”
In Kampala, Uganda, Obbo Lawrence sews a backpack at a studio called Banakibuga Street Minds, which he shares in a collective including seven other artists. Lawrence mixes cotton canvas and African fabrics to custom-make bags, which sell for between 100,000 Ugandan shillings ($27) and 350,000 Ugandan shillings ($95).
Sergio Paternò plays the electric guitar like a piano on Calle Florida, a pedestrian street in the center of Buenos Aires, Argentina. “I began one day, and I loved it,” he says. “It becomes a unique instrument. It is a different way of playing. We should all find different ways of doing things, otherwise we end up all the same – running to the same side.” He’s referring to people who walk quickly on the path.
Rajeenthiran Jonsan, 6; Pratheepkumar Thushipriyanthanan, 6; Aswini Anton, 6; and Arsatha Aroos, 5, display their crafts to an audience of parents during an exhibition at Ath Thayba Pre-school in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Students were taught artistic and creative ways to recycle waste materials.
Kalabai Shyam, 45, an artist from the Gond, the largest Adivasi (tribal) community in India, paints during an exhibition at Dilli Haat, a plaza and craft bazaar in New Delhi. Her media are charcoal, colored soil, plant sap, mud, flowers, leaves and cow dung. She says she is inspired by Mother Nature to tell stories through her paintings.
Liliana Yeraldine Corzo (right), who goes by the name Yeri, paints during the graffiti expo at Proyecto Posh, or Posh Project, which showcases various artists and art forms and takes place in two cities in Chiapas state, Mexico: Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de las Casas. Proyecto Posh, held every year since 2008, has presented about 700 artists at 120 different events.
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, artist Junior Pierre (left) teaches Nickeila Yamilé to make pottery, as part of a program to develop artistic talent among young people. The program was organized by Office National de l’Artisanat (ONART), the arts branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
At the Plaza de Mayo, a square in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Melody Fontana looks at drawings left by demonstrators who protested government delays in payments to assist people with disabilities. “Seeing all the drawings there are, and the effort they are putting into the fight, impacted me,” she says. “It excites me that the people are fighting for their rights, and the situation saddens me.”
Elijay Graffiti, a Kenyan graffiti artist whose real name is Elijah Mutua, spray-paints a mural during the Afri-Cans Street Art Festival 2018, in the Kitintale neighborhood of Kampala, Uganda. The theme of this year’s festival was “Celebrating Women.”
At the Kamfinsa Shopping Center in Harare, Zimbabwe, David Mutasa sets up an artwork that he made from a tire. Mutasa, who is a missionary, was inspired by a dream to create tire art, and he donates the money he makes to charity, he says.
Viviana Gonzáles, an artist and transgender activist, performs her autobiographical play “La Karateca” at Mocha Fest, a monthly event that raises money for Bachillerato Popular Trans “Mocha Celis,” a school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gonzáles acts out various stages of her life, representing the difficulties of being transgender, of hiding her identity to compete in tae kwon do competitions, and of fighting cancer.
Habana Devani Mendoza Vera, 18, performs at Mercado Iztacalco’s 60th-anniversary festival in Mexico City. Shops at the market gave balloons to children who attended and gave kitchen utensils to adults.
In Vavuniya, a district in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, students from the Empowerment Campus of Social, Economical and Environmental Developers, or SEED, perform a street drama advocating against child abuse. The drama’s theme was, “We, today’s elders, were yesterday’s children; protecting children and [encouraging] them to move forward is our responsibility.” SEED was organized in 1996 to aid those affected by Sri Lanka’s lengthy civil war.
Graphic artist Christian Bahwere Songya (right) gives painting lessons to Divine Kavugho, a teacher, in the city of Kirumba in Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province. Songya has been drawing since childhood, and now he teaches art to keep people from turning to crime or joining armed groups.
Tania León hangs paper cuttings with help from Alejandra Tenorio, 7, for a Day of the Dead altar contest at Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol, a church in the Iztacalco district of Mexico City. Their neighbor José Saldivar is seated. “I like the Day of the Dead, because we dress up and they give us sweets,” says Alejandra.
Daiana Cacchione (foreground) practices with students during her urban dance workshop for teenagers at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, a cultural and art center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “I think that this style of dance is very interesting for teenagers, because it is modern and brings together a bunch of things that are already in their culture,” she says. “It’s good to be able to bring them closer to dance through that.”
Learnmore Sibanda, 18, sits on the sidewalks of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, sketching and selling portraits for $1 each. “Drawing and sharpening my skills is better than smoking drugs like some of my peers,” he says. “My dream is to go back to school and eventually become an artist.”
Muniyasamy Rasenthiram works at his family’s shop in Nallur, a suburb of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Rasenthiram, who has been making clay pottery for 30 years, is paid about 3 to 5 Sri Lankan rupees (2 or 3 cents) per item.
During the Pamodzi Carnival, a festival in Lusaka, Zambia, a Makishi dancer performs with a snake and a mask that represent ancestral spirits. At Pamodzi, which means “together” in the Chichewa language, cultural groups from the country’s 10 provinces gather to celebrate Zambia’s heritage.
Intermediate students perform a folk dance at the Escuela Central, a school in the village of Chaquijyá in Guatemala’s Sololá department. They perform on special occasions to demonstrate their traditions and customs.
The folk dance group Die Lustigen Tiroler performs traditional Austrian dances at the Plaza de Mayo, a public square in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The performance by the dancers, based in the Villa del Parque neighborhood, was part of an event called Buenos Aires Celebra, during which the city celebrates the nation’s various cultural communities.