We continuously observe around the world unjustified attacks among certain groups of people. The XXI century in which we live in is falling behind in human rights. In that sense, we need to educate global citizens from their early chilhood into diversity and respect. That’s the only way to create a multicultural civilization, and today we will use the street art against racism, sexism and xenofobia in order to contribute with the movement.
It’s a must for governments and politicians to pass laws that commit with the 17 millenium development goals, including but not limiting to gender equality, peace, justice and strong institutions. That’s the only way to reduce inequalities, and somehow the graffiti culture is an interesting tool to be used. Thanks to social artworks, we could create an impact into a given community.
On the following paragraphs, you’ll read information about artists, art movements, and their messages. A united shout to fight against hate! We all want the same rights, no matter the skin color, sex/religious beliefs or the country of origin. Here is a brief introduction:
What are the most common approaches behind the ‘street art against racism’ idea?
First of all, we should mention that the street art against racism is not only an issue that just relates to graffiti writers & street artists. Whether you are a professional or an amateur creator, the streets are open air canvases in which we need to protest and fight for our rights. Even the simplest political or social content could create an impact on others. It’s just a matter of defending what’s yours. Nothing else.
Over the years, we have observed how the grey walls of urban and rural landscapes featured paste-ups, tags, or throw-ups just for the artists’ ego. However, it was about time that the graffiti community (often related with left-wing ideas) not just focused on spreading the idea of respect among writers, but among every single individual in the society. Again, fighting against discrimination.
Oppositedly to what happens with massive demonstrations around the city centers, street artists gather in groups around walls on the suburbs or the outskirts. The fact is that not all of them count with the permission to perform in the streets. Thus they have to find a place where to paint safely. Even if they are creating something against racism, police might consider that action as a misdemeanor.
Paste-up & sticker artworks
It’s probably the easiest and fastest approach to contribute with the street art against racism. As a matter of fact, #nohatefamily is a non-profit project of 8 street artists from Cologne (Germany) that deals with the topic of “hatred in society” and experiences the participation of artists from all over the world mainly through Instagram and further social media.
Hatred is a global theme and shows its nasty face in many different facets. It’s time to act, it’s time to get loud. They use art to end any form of racism, as well as social media to create a network of artists who set a sign against hatred. To set a sign against hatred means concretely to demonstrate by the union of the artists in the collages that we united stand for love, diversity and a peaceful togetherness.
Cologne, London, Berlin, Toulouse, Munich, Amsterdam, Hamburg, New York, Leipzig, Ohio, Frankfurt, Rome, Düsseldorf, Rostock, Isla Holbox/Yucatan, Siegen, Opladen are some of the examples where the #nohatefamily movement is present with walls of love designed by local artists and supporters.
How do graffiti writers from all over the world spread the word of street art against racism?
Every single artist contributes in the best way he/she can. People from all over the world use walls to spray paint messages, faces or slogans which directly relate to the street art against racism. In this sense, we do not differenciate between graffiti writers or street artists. We are all one crew against those who still believe that they are superior than others. They don’t get the simplest message ever: We’re all the same!
These artists usually work for the love of art when promoting these ideas, although we are observing that city councils from different European countries are paying them to create public walls based on social slogans. When working voluntarily, artists gather on what we call “graffiti jams”. Events that are developed in large grey walls where to paint with friends who also rise against hate.
It’s unbelievable what artists are capable of doing when performing for a cause. They use spray painting techniques as if they were speakers with people’s voices. Would you be able to recognize any of the faces painted in the image above? It was because of police brutality that the middle face has blood tears on his face.
Urban art commissioned artworks
Others, prefer to become allies with the ones who know how to paint, in order to exhibit anti-racist illustrations. Imagine the power that your business would have, if every single pedestrian/driver who passes by it observe that you promote these messages. Wouldn’t they create such strong collaborative links? In this case, this street art piece against racism is talking about Asian hate, but it could have showcased any other ethniticy or culture.
Faccade owners also allow street art festivals to occupy their open air canvas for equity’s promotion. The bigger, the more impresive! They use electric elevators in order to paint walls which contribute to the urban landscape’s change. Wouldn’t you love to walk everyday in front of a 5 stores building with a social impact message on it? We would love that!
Is Madrid a friendly city with the tag ‘street art against racism‘?
As a local project which uses graffiti as a tool for a change, we would like to analyze the ecosystem that surrounds us. Are Spanish resident and born artists committed with the cause? What are the national institutions doing in order to fight against injustices? Is the street art against racism visible in the Autonomous Community of Madrid? Let’s discuss about it!
Despite we feel that there is room for improvement, we consider that our society is very biased.
Who are the local artists that share the message against sexism?
There is a name which shines among the rest for their contribution. Not only they donate their time for the street art against racism, but in this case, also for their fight for equity among men and women. They’re called Unlogic Crew. It’s made of a group of artists interested in graffiti, who decorates women’s faces with feminist colors. More precisely, those who became pioneers in their fight for social rights in our past centuries. Would you be able to identify any of the faces included in this street art against sexism mural?
- Clara Campoamor, Spanish politician
- Rosa Parks, Afroamerican activist
- Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter
However, similarly as it happens in many other countries, hate is spreading. Despite these young adults effort, there were other citizens who covered the same picture as you see above, with black colored paint. That action only made them stronger, because the mural later spread all over the territory thanks to different cultural associations and private wall donations.
Which neighborhoods showcase the street art against racism?
The city center of any given city is the perfect spot where to display artworks. The impact is huge and the high visibility grants that the message is spread quickly until somebody covers it or repaints the wall. For example, there are two neighborhoods in Madrid which best represents the connection between the city and the street art against racism. Furthermore, they are completely multicultural.
Lavapies is considered by many as a melting pot of cultures. As a matter of fact, there are numerous Indian, Senegalese and Moroccan restaurants which create a lively community. Moreover, sport associations such as Lavapies Dragons contribute for kids and teenagers social integration. So nice to see people from different nationalities playing football at the same team! That’s love for their colours!
In the same vein, Malasaña district is a hipster area which combines people from different generations and cultures. Closely located to the LGBTQ neighborhood, is home to several urban cultures which usually hang around Plaza dos de Mayo. PINTA Malasaña and CALLE Lavapies are the two urban art festivals which feature love messages and slogans.
Workshops to educate our future generations
As we previously mentioned, one of the best ways to make people respect others is by educating. By the time you get people engaged with graffiti, learning about such an important aspect in life such as respect is, kids and teenagers seem to understand it. Consequently, committing to the street art against racism. However, our efforts won’t be fulfilled unless families talk about that as well at home. We need to educate people towards tolerance and respect.
These type of workshops allow 10-17 years old students to spray paint on legal walls in order to create collaborative murals. It’s obvious that the message painted at the artists’ studios will turn into a motivational activity that reinforces the spirit of sharing and taking care for others. Wouldn’t you or your kids be interested in participating in such event?
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the street art against racism
We are a group of professionals who are 100% in favor of the street art against racism. We promote artists artworks through Instagram, specially the ones who share our philosophy. It’s even during out street art tours in Madrid that we talk about the importance of respecting others.