Street Art against Racism
No one really knows how many people were killed by racism, because many of them weren’t even considered human. How many victims of the Herero and Namaqua genocide do you know by name? None?
And so the list of crimes is longer than the list of known victims: colonialism, slavery, genocides and complete exterminations of indigenous people, racially motivated wars and concentration camps, lynchings and racist attacks that continue today…
Each of these crimes caused the deaths and suffering of countless people. And „countless“ is the only appropriate word. Considering all that, there should be more street art against racism. But here’s some of the best:
From 1791–1804, slaves in Haiti revolted against the French colonists and won. Haiti became the first independent state founded after a successful slave revolt. But, under threat of attack, Haiti was forced to pay the French 150 million francs as reparations for the “economic damage” caused by the end of slavery. They paid it off in 1947! That’s right, the French government was not ashamed of taking money from one of the world’s poorest countries for more than a century, simply because Haitians dared to fight off slavery.
Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery and became one of the USA’s most well-known abolitionists and writers. Many people couldn’t believe that a former slave could write books. Racists: believing someone’s stupid just because you are.
Move your mouse over the red dots on the image below and you’ll see multimedia previews appear over them. Click on the links for more info.
Time Magazine condemned Strange Fruit as “musical propaganda” when it was first released. In 1999, the same magazine named it “Song of the Century”. You can read our full article about this iconic anti-racism song here.
Since Strange Fruit is about lynching, here’s a classic Banksy turn-things-around work.
Long after the abolition of slavery in the US, African-Americans had to keep fighting for equal rights and they still do. Rosa Parks got arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person, leading to bus boycotts and other forms of civil disobedience.
A new take on the classic “Nazis are trash” street art stencils found all over Europe (this one’s in Greece)
Angela Davis is not “only” a hero in the fight against racism, but also a champion of women’s rights and animal rights.
Apache leader Geronimo and Lakota leader Sitting Bull are among the few Native American leaders that are still remembered. The genocides of indigenous people around the world, including the ones that continue today, are a direct result of racism. Why does anyone still say Columbus “discovered” America? There were millions of people living there with complex, diverse and fascinating cultures, but they were considered uncivilized, less-than-human and nearly brought to extinction by racist European settlers.
In many states across the USA it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write. So the slave-owners knew that slaves were capable of educating themselves enough to break free, but still considered them less-than-human and unworthy of freedom. Decades after the abolition of slavery, Malcolm X continued to speak about the importance of education. Education is power!
Considering how amazing the Australian street art scene is and how horribly sadistic the treatment of Aborigines has been, Australia should be flooded with street art for aboriginal rights. This sticker is a version of the Aborigine flag and the only thing we found.
This amazing work by Melbourne street artist Adnate is a preview of how Australia’s streets could look if the struggle for aboriginal rights was reflected in street art.
And everybody loves pandas, so there you go!