The faded, defaced but unforgotten George Floyd mural and its social impact

This story is part of CBC News’s exploration of systemic racism (including anti-black racism) and its commitment to change last summer.

Last summer, when calls for the resolution and end of systemic racism were rising all over the world, a tall figure stood on the wall. It’s George Floyd.

His face-during the murder of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Joven, he didn’t spend nearly five minutes begging for his life, but the stoic and smiling selfie-everywhere . The artists explained the image and the term “Black Lives Matter” to create a beacon to make people gather, think and think.

CBC Nationwide One year after Floyd’s death, I talked to some of the artists behind these murals and asked what changes (if any) their creations had made.

  • Watch | Tuesday, May 25, a story about George Floyed’s memorial mural Nationwide It is on the CBC News network at 9pm EST, and on your CBC TV station at 10pm local time.You can also catch Nationwide online CBC gem.

Daniel Anguilu, Houston

Artist Daniel Anguilu and one of his murals. His tribute to George Floyd on a wall in Houston was smeared several times. (Daniel Anguilu/Facebook)

Daniel Anguilu has seen his murals defaced three times. He went back to repair it three times.

“Actually I have considered painting,” Angelullo said with a smile. “It’s just because I think it’s hard work to get there all the way to clean. But at the same time, people care about it now.”

Despite some annoying moments, Angelu said that he often saw people putting flowers and candles on the walls of downtown Houston where Freud grew up.

When Angelou thought there had been a surprising change in attitude, those in power shouted for defense.

Angelu recalled: “We have asked the chief of police to stand up and actually stand in front of the police.” After the third filth in April this year, Angelu recalled. Before that, another vandal sprayed “KKK” on the mural.

Watches | Daniel Anguilu talks about the restoration after the destruction of his George Floyd mural in Houston:

Artist Daniel Anguilu talked about why it is important to repair the George Floyd mural in Houston, Texas after being damaged by vandals, as well as the artistic respect and respect. What its anti-racist message means to this city. 1:28

“with [he] Tell the community and the city that this will not happen on his watch.This is something I have never experienced before, just to see the level of people with certain leadership skills in the city [who] Hope to protect our work. “

Anguilu said that he saw his city become a place where people use more public spaces to create informative artworks, which gave him hope.

“I think that if this situation continues, we have more opportunities not to make us forget what is happening around us. The murals have become part of this effort: don’t make us forget our position.”

Alan Mwangi of Nairobi (Mr. Detail Seven)

Allan Mwangi (Allan Mwangi) is an artist named after Mr. Detail Seven. He is a member of a team that paid tribute to George Floyd in Nairobi. (Allan Mwangi)

In Nairobi, Kenya, the colors on the walls of the Kibera neighborhood have faded. One of the portraits created by graffiti painter Allan Mwangi following Detail 7 was etched Portrait of George Floyd.

But he said the meaning still exists.

Mwangi said on the phone in Nairobi: “Information? No, it has not disappeared.” “It looks a bit old, but it still exists.”

The mural he created in collaboration with an artist named Bankslave is divided into three parts. On the one hand, the image of Freud’s face.

Mwangi said: “On the other hand, we made another mural of police trampling on citizens,” he pointed out that police brutality is a global phenomenon.

Especially in Kenya, activists and human rights organizations have been calling for police abuse and excessive use of force for years, the most recent being a curfew strategy against COVID-19.

Finally, between these two images, is a word that binds the images together.

Mwangi said: “Haki. This is justice in Swahili”.

On April 21st, I saw local residents next to a mural painted in June 2020. There are George Floyd and the Swahili word “Haki” or “Justice” near Kibera in Nairobi. “. (Brian Inganga/Associated Press)

In the past year, social commentary has attracted people from all over Kenya to come to take pictures and shoot murals. Despite this appeal, Mwangi said that his work is usually not political.

Mwangi explained: “But for that particular person, we have to do this.” “There is a saying that Nina Simone: It is the artist’s responsibility to reflect on the times.”

Jacquie Comrie, Toronto

For Jacquie Comrie, an artist living in Toronto, the power of street art has always been transformation and rehabilitation.

“Mural painting has been a form of activism for decades, and this is nothing new,” Comrie explained. “Murals have been made all over the world to talk about politics and social issues as a way of dialogue.”

Watches | Toronto artist Jacqueline Comrie pays tribute to George Floyd:

The artist Jacquie Comrie reflected on how to paint murals in Toronto to fight systemic racism, why her son helped inspire works and how street art promoted community change. 2:12

But as a black woman, there is another reason that she used the mastery of color on a mural at the Kensington Market in Toronto last summer.

Camille recalled: “About a month before the murder of George Floyd, I found out that I was pregnant.”

“Everything is different to me. I started thinking, what if this is my child? How can I ensure the safety of my child? All these thoughts and anxiety are generated, and I feel so scared. So I feel like I I need to be present in that mural project, also for my son.”

Comrie used his passion for color and added the word “A” to the word “substance”.

On July 1, 2020, artist Jacquie Comrie paid tribute to George Floyd’s street art in Toronto. (Jacquie Comrie / Instagram)

Her job is now gone, and she was hit by a car wash and a car in the past year. Even when she was painting, Comrie pointed out that some people would ride bicycles directly on it.

Camille said: “Of course, this shows people’s resistance and lack of respect for this information.”

However, she added that she felt that such a response also proved that this art resonated in the community.

“I think in a sense, we are doing the right job.”

Watch the full episode of “National” CBC gem, CBC’s streaming service.

  • For more stories about the experience of black Canadians-from anti-black racism to success stories in the black community-check out “Black Canadians”, the CBC Black Canadians project can be proud of. You can read more stories here.


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