Did Boston Just Put Up A Mural of A Terrorist?

junkyardarts August 7, 2012 Comments Off on Did Boston Just Put Up A Mural of A Terrorist?
Did Boston Just Put Up A Mural of A Terrorist?

No.  No it didn’t. Because that would be insane. That would be insane.

It is very clearly a young child in pajamas, or at the very least wearing really bright clothes, crouched down hiding.

Sure, the kid’s got something around his head. Sure, I could see it looking like a headscarf. But you know what guys? Not all people that wear headscarves are terrorists.

Did you catch that?  Not all people that wear headscarves are terrorists.  And not all terrorists…wait for it…wear headscarves.  In fact we’ve had some white boys committing terror twice in a few weeks right here in the states with nary a headscarf in sight.  Terrorism: equal opportunity criminal activity!

I know it’s a complicated subject but I’m sure if I say it enough times you will get it.


The great news is that this mural, courtesy of the Brazilian street artists Os Gemeos, is doing exactly what street art is meant to do: make the viewer ask questions and challenge our assumptions about the world around us.  And in this case, thought I didn’t expect it, it is revealing viewer prejudice, fear, ignorance and misunderstanding.  So when you hear someone say this mural looks like a terrorist, it says far much more about the viewer than it does about the art itself.  And that, however sad the end result may be, is wonderful.

Sadly the mural, and another smaller work by the artists, is only slated to be up until November 2013 at which point I imagine the city will just white-wash over it and put up a giant Sam Adams Brewery ad or something like that.  Because if there is anything that will be obscuring the skyline in Boston it will be ads for products, not street art, that’s for damn sure.  Yes!  America!  Boston!  Feigning liberalism and forward thinking for over 200 years!

I spent my entire Masters degree working on a Public Art plan for the city of Boston because I was so sad to see it fall behind other great cities in our country that appreciate cultural diversity, creativity and expression. Menino, I’ll work with you on this. I’ll happily sit down, have a drink, and go over my thesis (it’s thrilling, I assure you) and let’s build a creative economy in Boston that includes public art! This was one step in the right direction, let’s not let a little controversy slow us down now.

Fox Boston /

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