Mural by the Chilean artist El Cekis. Image via NotACrime
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, those of the Bahá‘í faith have been banned from teaching or studying in Iranian universities. Their businesses have been torched, they have been harassed, jailed and even killed for their beliefs. In an effort to raise global awareness, the organization Education is Not A Crime has created a campaign through art in New York CIty to show their plight.
This year’s campaign began on April 25th, with murals depicting the Bahá‘í struggle for equality. Curated by Street Art Anarchy, there will be fifteen murals in total, scattered throughout Harlem and East Harlem, created by artists from all over the World. The first mural is located on the wall of the famed Faison Firehouse Theatre by artist Ricky Lee Gordon, located at 6 Hancock Place near St. Nicholas Avenue and 124th Street. Below are images of the finished murals so far.
Conceptual (night) rendering of the Original Harlem African Burial Ground Footprint. All images via the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force
Since the Village of Harlem was founded in 1660, it has served as a major residential and cultural center for communities of African descent. Still to this day, many New Yorkers are unaware of the historical significance of the neighborhood and the role of freed and enslaved Africans who helped build it. On a sacred Lenape tribal site near Harlem River and East 126th Street, the remains of at least two individuals were found (one likely to be a woman of African descent) underneath 2nd Avenue and 126th Street, the site of a modern day bus depot site.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is now working in close collaboration with the Speaker’s Office and the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force to redevelop the site and build a meaningful memorial to ensure that a hundred of years of neglect will not erase the contributions of those who are buried there.
“Sentra” by artist Kori Newkirk located in St. Nicholas Park
On the heels of announcing a $122 million new design for The Studio Museum in Harlem, which will begin construction as early as 2017, the Museum is broadening its scope beyond its walls, and the entire Harlem community is their palette. For the inHarlem exhibit, four artists were commissioned to create work for four historic Harlem parks. The opening reception was recently held in Marcus Garvey Park. Other parks included in the project are Jackie Robinson Park, St. Nicholas Park, and Morningside Park.
This summer, artists have been hard at work addressing social issues through art in New York City’s parks, on walls, and even on lamp posts. September brings a host of new works: The Studio Museum extends outside of its walls in Harlem to bring site-specific art installations to four parks from 113th Street to 145th Street. We hunted down glass pigeons on lamp posts throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, works which harken to those of Mosaic Man, who also recently brought back his work to the East Village, and checked out mural works throughout the city.
Here are 12 outdoor art installations not to miss in September:
The Spring 1956 Edition of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book via The University Libraries Digital Collection
Whether traveling to a National Park or just driving down to the shore, road trips are an integral part of American culture. However, during the age of Jim Crow, African American travelers faced insurmountable hardships when trying to plan their road trips. In order to publicize the discrimination he faced and to help his fellow African American travelers, Victor Hugo Green published. The Negro Travelers’ Green Book (also known as The Negro Travelers’ Green Book or just The Green Book). The Green Book was published between 1936 and 1964 in order to provide African Americans a list of establishments in which they were welcome.
As Green was from Harlem, the book was originally New York focused, but eventually included much of North America. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Heart of Atlanta Motel Supreme Court case made the book obsolete, the locations listed still possess incredible historical meaning.
Listed below are five New York City sites that were welcoming to African American travelers in an age when that was revolutionary.
TatsCru at work on mural for #NotACrime Mural Project
In an effort to raise awareness about human rights abuses, religious persecution, and denied access to higher education, the organization Education is Not A Crime will be putting this agenda front and center when the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, arrives in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 13. The campaign, known in social-media as #NotACrime, will be comprised of fifteen murals painted on walls all over Harlem and East Harlem.
The murals are curated by the New York based group, Street Art Anarchy, in partnership with the #NotACrime campaign, and have brought to this project street artists from all over the World, as well as renowned artists in our own backyard – with names like TatsCru, Astro, Franco the Great, Alexandre Keto, Ricky Lee Gordon, Rone, and Elle.