I was excited and pleased to speak to Eric Mollo of ABC News Radio about the social value of street art, as part of the programme “Celebrating the arts”. Eric prepared a short segment on “Street art as a symbol of unity“, reflecting on the many murals and other forms of memorialisation on public walls which were produced during the Black Lives Matter protests and occupations earlier in the year.
You can listen to the short segment below, or the entire show here.
For all the challenges of compressing a 40-min conversation into a 2-min segment, ideas about wall writing being a mirror to society have come across quite clearly.
We spoke about how drawing, painting, spraying surfaces is oftentimes empowering for those whose voices are less prominent because it is a form of direct action which eludes systems of permission (not always ofc), authorisation, or appreciation – which is why it is also very reliable.
I was also telling Eric about how George Floyd was present on walls outside the US (see below as portrait stencils in Leake Street or in this RIP message from Athens).
Finally, below are the #BLM tags which were sprayed on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London’s Whitehall, a Grade I listed building designed in classical Palladian style by George Gilbert Scott in 1868. Beside the orderly, proportionate, stately columns, this façade features some allegorical figures between the window arches: Science, Art, Agriculture, Manufacture. All supported here by Black Lives Matter tags on the pillars – fittingly and symbolically.