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Art Activism: These Murals Around The World Are Speaking Out Against Racial Injustice
As Gianna Floyd, the daughter of the late George Floyd, so innocently said- “Daddy changed the world.” Yes, baby girl, change the world, he did.
While we have been marching, protesting, and hashtagging for years upon years against the injustices against Black and brown people, it seems that we finally have the world’s attention. So much so, cities across the nation (and even the world) are bringing even more awareness to the issues with larger than life murals.
We’ve rounded up some of the murals that have come across thus far. We’re sure this list will continue to grow over the coming days and weeks.
Headed by Black artist and muralist @dammitwesley, more than 17-Charlotte artists took to the streets of Uptown to create this larger-than-life piece honoring the Black Lives Matter movement. ” I didn’t choose this project, this project chose me,” Dammit Wesley told Travel Noire. “It is the culmination of me planting seeds in the artist community for years and finally reaping the benefits of collective efforts focusing on a common goal. This Black life not only matters but inspires.”
While this has been ground zero for many of the George Floyd protests, the city is also honoring the life of the late Breonna Taylor. Street artist Hiero created a piece with Taylor’s face in a campaign that he is calling “Spray their name.” His hope is that this artistic movement will pick up and continue all over. he has plans to create murals in other cities including Denver, LA, Miami, and NYC.
Artist Billy Abstract has used his art as his voice during the latest movement. The Philly native recently created a beautiful piece that lets the LBC community know “it’s time for a change.” He recently led the online Travel Noire community on a live mural tour which included an up-close look at this most recent work.
George Floyd is even getting respect in Pakistan. Artist Haider Ali paints a lovely mural in honor of Floyd on the side of a wall with the words “justice” and “equality.”
Albany-based advocacy group In Our Own Voices requested that city officials also answer the call in standing up in a major way. On June 9, the mural was painted across one of the city’s busiest streets, Lark Street. This is also one of the city’s more diverse neighborhoods, which was a strategic move asked of by the group.
Mayor Muriel Bowser wanted to send a major message. Not only did she give the green light for a two-block long mural, but she also approved the changing of a street name to ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza.’ This was the first street mural that has since sparked several across the nation.
Similar to the Black Lives Matter murals in Washington D.C. and Albany, several Bay Area artists came together to paint this street art spanning across three blocks of Oakland’s 15th Street downtown area.
Oakland muralist, Timothy Bluitt, also worked on an amazing piece for Nia Wilson, the 18-year-old woman who was killed in 2008 by a racist at a BART transit station.
Located in Denmark, street artist Rasmus Balstrøm painted a breathtaking piece called “American Youth”. The mural is part of a series Rasmus is working on throughout the summer and the imagery simply speaks for itself.
Local artist Demetris “BAMR” Washington took to a grassy area in the city’s Capitol Mall on June 5. The painting spans from 6th to 9th street and was green-lighted by councilman Steven Hansen. “Just trying to get this message out there in a very positive way,” Washington said in a statement.
The latest piece of art located on one of the world’s most famous canvases for political graffiti is the George Floyd mural on the separation wall in the West Bank, Palestine.
Located in the Soho area of New York is this “Birdwatching Is Not A Crime” mural dedicated to an avid birdwatcher named Christian Cooper, who had the cops called on him in Central Park by a woman named Amy Cooper because he told her to put a leash on her dog. In the video, Amy Cooper is seen telling the police that Christian is threatening her and even begins to cry in distress.
Painter and skateboarder Nick Applecrap paid tribute to Breonna Taylor with this abstract street mural in Chicago. He also did a piece for George Floyd.
Who would have thought Italy would have been down with the Black Lives Matter movement? In a piece portraying Nina Simone as the Virgin Mary, someone wrote: “We Can’t Breathe”.
The original piece did not feature the hashtag, but when posted nearly two weeks ago on Instagram, it was posted with the caption: “My solidarity with the protests of these days” in Italian.
Leading to the capitol on Martin Street you will find a new piece of art in Raleigh, NC that reads “End Racism Now”. Simple, yet effective.