COMMUNITY MURALISM

In community muralism, the goal is to integrate various themes and characteristics of the group creating the mural. This way the mural carries significance for the entire cummunity. Naturally, for youth who have never expressed themselves through this medium, it takes time to develop their skillset and creative expression. The intention is to encourage a true exploration of identity, both on the individual as the group level. The spontaneaous results this process generates, often reflect and impact all aspects of the lives of the participants. It is a means of communication that can convey a lot of information about the group and its inner workings.

 

This process is composed of a series of steps in a progressive order. As we walk through these steps, they show both how much the participants are absorbing and in turn applying. Every exercise becomes a tool to evaluate the fulfillment of the objectives

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The radius of incidence of a community mural is very wide, therefore the possibilities of spreading information are endless. Participants can work with global themes such as Women (if the mural is executed by women), Climate Change, Neighborhood-related issues, HIV prevention, etc. The group decides how to represent the proposed topic, a process which, in itself, becomes a way to examine the group. The result, the mural, is yet another tool in reflecting on the people involved in its' creation. This process has measurable results in the long term, as it provides participants with the tools of graphic communication and creative thinking; all applicable in other aspects of their lives. Through the mural, the tangible side of the painting is connected with the internal, symbolic processes of the participants.

 

Painting freely, without restrictions or lines to color inside of, encourages painting in the future. This helps the participant to gain confidence in his or her capacities, both as individual and in a group setting. Community Muralism has a very high potential for mass communication relevant and beneficial to each community.

 

The pictures show some of the murals created under my guidance according to this process. To date I have overseen the creation of 13 Community Murals.