The Whitewashing of Mexico City’s Hand-Painted Signs

A Ban on Colorful Rótulos Is Making for a More Generic Streetscape

This April, the government of Mexico City’s central Cuauhtémoc alcaldía, or borough, mandated that all its rótulos—the hand-painted signs decorating street vendors’ kiosks—be erased. The colorful optical illusions, diverse typographies, and fantastical portraits of sandwiches, juices, and smoothies that have become an essential aspect of the city’s built environment had to be washed off or painted over, making the kiosks nothing more than a backdrop for the alcaldía’s sad, gray-and-white official seal.

The kiosks, which are ubiquitous on Mexico City’s sidewalks and public squares, are small metal stands with panels that …

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Bread and Conflict in Ukraine | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Bread and Conflict in Ukraine

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Could a Truth Commission Unite America? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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How My Republican Grandfather Helped Legalize Abortion

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A Comedian’s Special—And My Experience as a Simpsons Fan—Point to the Good, the Bad, and the Complicated When It Comes to Representation

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