The Peace Train

Street art is becoming increasingly popular with stunning installations being created all over the world. These works of art are increasingly being used to portray a political message or promote human rights. The street has become a natural outlet for artist, empowering their freedom of speech and bringing people together.

This is a brief introduction to the stories that have caught my eye recently.

“White Walls Say Nothing” is a feature-length documentary about art and activism in the streets of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires is a complex, chaotic city. It has European style and a Latin American heart. It has oscillated between dictatorship and democracy for over a century, and its citizens have barely known political or economic stability.

Throughout Buenos Aires’ turbulent history, successive generations of activists and artists have taken to the streets to express themselves. This has given the walls a powerful and symbolic role. They have become the city’s voice.

This powerful tradition of expression in public space; of art and activism, has turned the streets of Buenos Aires into a riot of colour and communication.

In a second story featured on NPR this week Kenyan graffiti artist, Swift9, has gained permission from authorities to spray paint a commuter train with peace messages and icons with the goal of promoting a peaceful presidential election on March 4.

Kenya

Kenya 2

The train will travel through the massive Nairobi slum of Kibera, one of the largest in Africa, where young gangs torched, looted and killed in the spasms of violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential election.

Listen to the story here.

Finally Street Artist, JR, is using street art to promote human rights and empower people all over the world. In his latest TED talk he shows how giant posters of human faces, pasted in public, are connecting communities, making change, and turning the world inside out.

Related Posts: Toronto Street Art Part 5 and Evolving Street Art

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