BSA Images Of The Week: 05.03.15

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We’ve been seeing an increase in the number of politically charged pieces showing up in the street lately. It is no surprise given the rise in marches and demonstrations and discussions in our city and country about topics like racism, police brutality, and rising economic inequality.  Street Art has a tradition of addressing socio-political topics, sometimes gently, sometimes yelling at the top of its lungs.

This comes at a time where the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is banning all political speech and religious ads in the advertisements it runs. “Hateful speech is not harmless speech. Only a fool or rogue would argue otherwise,” said Charles Moerdler, an MTA board member and Holocaust survivor who voted for the new policy. Of course any time you start to ban speech you don’t like, you are risking someone banning yours.

One could argue that all speech is political but you don’t recognize it when the message expresses views endorsed by the dominant culture; BP ads tell us that it is splendid to burn fossil fuels, CitiBank ads on bicycles tell us that bankers are nice community-minded people, and McDonalds ads tell us that eating meat is nutritious. Nothing political there right? Do you think the MTA would allow you to run an advertisement saying the opposite of any of those messages? Or would that suddenly be political?

The first few messages of this weeks walls are examples of speech, some of them political, some of them not. The streets will decide which get banned.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 907 Crew, Adam Cost, Anthony Lister, Balu, bunny M, Cash 4, David Shillinglaw, Defs, Deeker, FWC Crew, HA3, Icy & Sot, JR, Kaws, London Kaye, Merve Berkman, Myth, Omen, R2, Rambo, ROA, Rubin 415, SEA, Smells, Sote, and Specter.

Top Image: Turkish Street Artist Merve Berkman brings this Syrian refugee with child from the streets of Istanbul to the streets of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Balu and his portrait of Malcolm X (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who are oppressing them” a quote from Assata Shakur in this new Myth piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Davaid Shillinglaw . Lily Mixe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Adam Cost. Tell me about it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cash4 . Rambo . Droid . Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Roman . 907 Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Detail. Omen . SEA . Kaws (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA . HA3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister and friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR from his series Walking New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR from his series Walking New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DEFS and FWC Crew in Dubai (photo © DEFS)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. SOHO, NYC. May 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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