Big Cities: Colin Boyd Shafer

Boa Mistura: Active Color

This documentary explores the work of Boa Mistura, a group of five friends from Madrid who are dedicated to urban collaborative art. Boa Mistura means “good mixture” in Portuguese, and refers to the diversity of training and perspectives of each member. The group is comprised of an architect, an engineer, a publicist and two plastic artists.

They began in 2001 by painting graffiti on the walls of their neighborhood, Alameda de Osuna, but an experience in a disadvantaged community of Cape Town compelled them to rethink their concept of street art. The participation of kids allowed them to see that art can be a catalyst for chagne when a community gets involved in the transformation of their surroundings. From then onwards, their projects were directed further towards the underprivileged, and took on a more social character. Their objective is to inspire, and improve people’s day-to-day lives.


Video produced by RTVE in Spain.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Helping Hands

Many people enjoy the anonymity found in city living, but this also creates dangers for more vulnerable people like the homeless and elderly.

In Malaysia, an organization called Rice & Roses feeds the needy, paying particular attention to those living on the streets of Georgetown, Penang. The group of volunteers prepares meals and delivers them, and offers free education to street children.

Historical Preservation

From the depths of a volcano to the density of a forest, people around the world are preserving natural wonders in their home cities. A docent at Mount Vesuvius shares why he has devoted his life to the volcano that destroyed much of the area in previous generations. A man in Hong Kong leads neighbors in a fight to preserve a historic forest that has become polluted.

Videos produced by RAI in Naples, Italy and RTHK in Hong Kong.

Immigrant Support Systems

Big cities attract dreamers from all over the world. This episode features the people building communities of inclusion for immigrants.

Traditional Practices

Looking back to traditional practices can help us find modern solutions to various environmental and social issues of city life.

In Q'ewe, Peru, we follow Victoriano Arizapana, a Native leader nicknamed “The Engineer” as he leads the construction of the Q’eswachaka bridge. Residents from four different communities participate in the three-day construction of a traditional rope bridge using ancestral techniques taught through their Inca heritage.

Living With Water

Great water demands require greater water solutions to keep big cities afloat.

Water activists combat climate change and illegal wetland development that is causing towns to flood in Argentina. Graciela Capodoglio founded the Natural Reserve of Pilar to preserve the floodplain ecosystem in the province of Buenos Aires.

In Mexico City, citizens formed an organization using innovative education models and technologies to address the city’s water shortage issues.

Videos produced by Construir TV in Argentina and SPR in Mexico.

  • 2020-10-01T19:00:00-07:00
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