The Power of Paint: An Indonesian Slum Transforms Into a Rainbow Village


One of the most uplifting community transformations we’ve ever witnessed just took place in a tiny village in Central Java, Indonesia. Thanks to a burst of vibrant colors and artsy patterns, Kampung Pelangi has upgraded itself to a multi-hued sight for sore eyes.

Local junior high principal Slamet Widodo sparked this massive makeover initiative, which allocated over $22,000 in government funds to revamp the community. Taking a cue from three other towns in the country that recently received the peppy paint jobs, more than 200 homes in Kampung Pelangi were converted into literal works of art.

“The idea to create Kampung Pelango came after we saw the beauty of Kampung Warna-warni and Kampung Tridi in Malang, and later Kampung Kali Code in Yogyakarta,” Widodo told The Jakarta Post. Some homes were simply drenched in bright colors, while others were adorned with intricate, playful patterns, including stripes, polka dots and even 3D murals that more than live up to the town’s newly assigned name, which literally translates to “Rainbow Village.”

Resembling a real-life Candyland, the project took more than a month to complete and was officially unveiled in April. As anticipated, the area has experienced an increase in tourists who are eager to immerse themselves in Kampung Pelangi’s color-splashed , hillside surroundings, which have become the backdrop of many a social media selfie. As Bored Panda reports, the Indonesian Builders Association has already noticed an increase in souvenir and food sales from local businesses.

Widodo appears to be extremely optimistic about the impact that the brilliant renovation will have on Kampung Pelangi and its residents, telling The Jakarta Post, “Hopefully Kampung Pelangi will be the biggest [colorful city] in Indonesia.”

Indonesia isn’t the only country using art to give its slums the drab-to-fab treatment. Just last year, India opened the world’s first slum museum in Dharavi, showcasing the creative talents of the locals.

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