“I Can’t Breathe!”: Answering the Call with Art on the Streets / Dispatch From Isolation # 71

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging in Georgia in February, the racist threats and intimidation toward Christian Cooper over the Memorial Day Holiday while he was merely “birding” in Central Park in New York City, Breonna Taylor shot, unarmed in her apartment in March in Louisville; These are the recent examples, but there are more, thousands more…

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street artists and graffiti writers around the world are responding visually to current events with new works on the street. Sometimes it is a full-blown community mural or a hand-posted sign. Other times it is the scrawl of a vandal in text – a visual equivalent to a scream in the night. When it comes to issues of race and identity, many so-called western societies are now adding a deliberate massive social and economic dislocation to the cauldron; one where nearly the whole of the middle class is sliding into serfdom – and the police are acting like a military.  

Eme Freethinker did this mural of George Floyd in Berlin (Picture Alliance/Nurphoto/© O. Messinger)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A street artist from one of the centers of this national uprising who goes by the name HOT TEA tells us about a project he just took to the streets.

“I had to do something for George, being that I live in Minneapolis and am so fed up with police harassment and injustice,” he says. We projected his image on very iconic Minneapolis structures. The feedback while they were being projected was overwhelmingly positive and everyone wanted to help. We need to stick together and make sure that change starts to finally happen.”

Hot Tea. Minneapolis. (photo © Hot Tea)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun created this mural depicting George Floyd, in the town of Binnish in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province on June 1, 2020. (Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hot Tea. Minneapolis. (photo © Hot Tea)
Hot Tea. Minneapolis. (photo © Hot Tea)
Hot Tea. Minneapolis. (photo © Hot Tea)
Artists Niko Alexander, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Xena Goldman, Pablo Helm Hernandez in front of their mural where George Floyd was killed in front of Cup Foods. (courtesy Cadex Herrera)

Berlin-based graffiti crew 1UP did this whole-car message as a protest and a show of unity for social justice .

Please follow and like us: