DAA Daily

The World’s Pain Through Street Art

By Ana Chauhan, Daily Digest Editor, The Pawprint

In the summer of 2020, a depiction of the African American George Floyd, who was violently strangled to death by police officer David Chauvin on 25 May 2020, appeared on city walls around the globe. 

Floyd’s 2016 selfie, taken from his own Facebook account, was the foundation of several of these portraits; many linked to the anguish of his murder and his final words. 

Multiple graffiti tributes to Floyd have appeared in European cities and in Asia, Africa, and Australia, thousands of miles from the US.

  • Truck artist Haider Ali painted a portrait in Karachi with English tags (‘#blacklivesmatter’) and Urdu song lyrics (‘This world does not belong to white or black people, it belongs to those with heart’); 
  • Floyd appeared amid the war-ravaged ruins in Idlib, northwestern Syria; 
  • He was portrayed in Nairobi alongside the Swahili word ‘haki’, meaning ‘justice’ (in a work by Kenyan artist’ Allan Mwangi, aka Mr. Detail Seven); 
  • Floyd was painted on the West Bank barrier by the Palestinian artist Taqi Sbatin;
  • Floyd was represented on the wall in Berlin’s Mauerpark by the Dominican-born artist Eme Freethinker, alongside an assortment of iconic black US figures; Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Angela Davis.

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