By André Luiz Silva and Vagner Damasceno
Why do you chew a gum? Soldiers chewed gums to relax during the Second World War, some people
use it to clean their teeth when they are in a hurry, some people like it, just because it is sweet. However,
if you go to Post Alley in Seattle, you will find a different way to use a gum.
The Gum Wall began around 1993 when patrons started to stick gums in the wall while they were waiting
too much for a show at Market Theater. Theater company workers scraped the wall twice, but gave up
when it became a tourist attraction of Seattle, and in 2009 it was considered the second “germiest” tourist
attraction in the world.
The existence of the Gum Wall encourages other kinds of urban art, as posts, graffiti and sayings in the
rest of the alley. The fact is that as a kind of art expression, it changes itself with time, as well as, it is
changed by some individuals in their everyday life without any previous concept or idea. In addition, as an
urban intervention, it adds the alley’s wall some colors and texture, and also a distinct fruit aroma to the
In our point of view, the Gum Wall is a good example of Do-It-Yourself, it’s a sample of how small actions
can be powerful and how they can increase an environment - nowadays the gum wall is part of a local
culture and it has been used as background for movies (Love Happens in 2009) and wedding photos.
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