Hispanic and African American communities have suffered disproportionately due do entrenched social and economic disparities in American society during the COVID-10 pandemic. Not only are larger proportions of each community affected by the illness, they are also heavily represented as caretakers and front-line workers.
While the systemic inequalities are also fueling the current demonstrations and abuses of people and press in 10s of cities across the country in ways that shock the conscience, we turn briefly here to honor the work of those who have helped our families and our friends with the virus outbreak.
Cuban-American land artist and contemporary artist Jorge Rodriguez Gerada and his team have been in Queens the past few days painting this enormous mural to celebrate the heroism of our front line workers. The most diverse population in the US, Queens is truly a symbol for the harmonious possibilities of people living and working together that defies any right wing ideologue – with an estimated 800 languages being spoken in this fair borough.
So its undeniably appropriate that Gerada chose this location in the heart of Queens entitled ‘Somos La Luz,’ (We are the Light), which memorializes the late Dr. Decoo, a Latino physician who lost his life after battling this pandemic in NYC. A striking portrait to be seen from the sky, it is a broad gesture of gratitude from all New Yorkers to those who truly have our collective and individual best interests at heart every day.
This project was curated by @henryrmunozlll, sponsored by @SOMOSCare and with production assistance by @GreenPointInnovations / @GreenPoint.EARTH. Mr. Gerada says he is proud to partner with the @queensmuseum, @elmuseo del Barrio @maketheroadny and @NYCParks on this incredible project.