Palmitas, a hardscrabble neighborhood in the Mexican city of Pachuca, used to have a reputation as a battleground where gangs fought deadly turf wars. But recently the bloodshed on the hillside slum’s narrow streets has fallen dramatically and it has gained a far more welcome kind of attention. A Mexican artists’ collective called German Crew has painted a giant mural across the shantytown’s houses, working with residents to transform their crumbling walls into a vibrant artwork. Viewed at a distance, the entire neighborhood now forms a bright, rainbow-colored wave that has brought new pride for residents and opened new horizons for local youths. Viewed up close, the giant mural contains still more mini-murals that interact playfully with the overall design. The artists repainted some 20,000 square meters

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