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Street Update #120

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March 23, 2016
Runs, does yoga.

Freedom of speech is always an engaging topic, because it obviously stirs up a great amount of controversy. So, let’s dedicate this Street Update to that. Not everybody is always going to like what you’re saying, especially if you’re an intelligent, aware human being, concerned about or oppressed by the system. A few types of people match the described profile, and among them activists and artists, some of which happen to be writers. Salman Rushdie is one of those writers. After his novel The Satanic Verses was published, Rushdie was forced into hiding in 1989 Iran. Fortunately, he managed to escape trouble, and he eventually initiated a project for all the writers in exile. Today, there are a few Cities of Asylum across the world, and Pittsburgh is celebrating the 12th anniversary of its own. This wonderful initiative is something you should definitely check out – not to mention that there are some very beautiful wall art pieces in Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, which might inspire you as well.

Another exciting project, which deals with freedom of expression, was mentioned recently on WideWalls. The new Girl Power movie, directed by Sany, features some of the most amazing female street artists. The film has already premiered, but there is a list of dates for the next screenings – and you can see more details here. The creators of the movie ask the questions – why is street art still perceived as a “male area”, and “do you need to have a penis to make graffiti”?

What do you think? Are we free to speak our minds? Tell us on Facebook.

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Case MaClaim in Istanbul

Horrible news struck us recently, when terrorist attacks happened in Istanbul and Ankara, and in Brussels very soon after. The German artist Case MaClaim almost witnessed the horrors himself, since he was in Istanbul, near the busy Istikal Street where the explosion happened just moments before. With the deepest feeling of sadness and compassion for his Turkish friends, MaClaim made a mural to honor the victims and to condemn the “cruel face of international terrorism“. In this hopeless time of terrible tragedies, it seems that all we can do is wait for better days and peace to come.

Images via Case MaClaim.

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Interesni Kazki (Waone) in South India

This mural is a very important one, since it is Waone’s first wall painted entirely in black and white. You did probably see some of Interesni Kazki‘s black and white drawings before, but this is the first of their creations to reach this scale. Waone (member of the duo) painted this mural in a small town of Varkala, South India, and named it Matter: Changing States. The mural illustrates Waone’s concern about the climate change and its impact on humans. He got the idea from his own experience as a frequent traveler, and the many unusual weather conditions.

Image via Waone.

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Guido van Helten in Lismore, Australia

This amazing mural was made by the great artist of Icelandic origin, Guido van Helten. The talented muralist made this beautiful piece in Lismore, Australia. According to his Facebook page, the mural depicts a girl who almost accidentally happened to be the inspiration for the piece – daughter of another artist, his colleague Jeremy Austin. The name of this “lovely little local” is Willow Austin, and her bright face now adorns the facade of one of Lismore’s buildings. The piece was made for Eat the Street festival, and since it was featured on many of the Facebook pages related to Lismore, it seems that the citizens liked it very much.

Image via Guido van Helten.

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Sebas Velasco & DULK in Torreblanca, Spain

We’re always happy to see great artists work together, mostly because of the outstanding pieces they eventually make, which usually turn out to be just a little bit more amazing than the things they do individually. Nevertheless, both Sebas Velasco and Dulk have convincing styles and authentic visual expression. Therefore, it is easy to see which part of the mural was painted by Sebas, who gravitates toward naturalism, and which part was made by Dulk, whose characters look like they belong to some other, surreal worlds. Their collaborative, large-scale creation is a real master piece, in which both of these distinct types of motives exist in harmony.

Images via Sebas Velasco.

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Jan Kalab in Bogota, Colombia

The capital of Colombia got a beautiful new mural painted by the street art legend from Czech Republic, Jan Kalab. Kalab’s unique relationship with shape and color operates on several levels, making his works conceptually complex, and visually simple at the same time. This time, the artist painted parts of his full circle on different sides of a building. This makes the Broken Rainbow look different from various angles. The vivid colors seem almost unreal, in contrast to their grey surrounding.

Image via Jan Kalab.