Black Lives Matter mural in Cork sees teenagers work together to reject racism

Black Lives Matter mural in Cork sees teenagers work together to reject racism

The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA).

ONE of the most iconic responses to the Black Lives Matter Movements in the form of artwork was implemented over the summer months and now stands at Sullivan’s Quay in the city centre.

Created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA) - a group of young people supported by Creativity & Change which is a programme of courses and events run out of the Crawford on Grand Parade - it got a huge reaction online after images of the finished piece were widely shared on social media platforms.

Facilitators of the group Helen O’Keeffe and Claire Coughlan who empower street art projects with young people throughout the country and who also run their own business together called Splattervan, a mobile art studio, put out a call to teenagers in the locality who were involved in the climate strikes to do creative workshops and learn creative activism.

Ms Coughlan said that they met “the most amazing group of teenagers” through the course which was all about how to use creativity to bring about social change and tackle global justice issues.

The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA).
The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA).

“We had just started the group before lockdown forced us to move online, so we hadn't even met all the young people in person until we met to create the mural. We met twice weekly throughout lockdown and worked remotely on different changemaking projects, such as creating a creative activist resource and developing the awareness raising 'Amplifying Activists' social media project,” she said.

The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA). Pictured are: Sarah O' Mahony, Sumaya Mohammed, Mia Hamilton and Mira Henchi.
The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA). Pictured are: Sarah O' Mahony, Sumaya Mohammed, Mia Hamilton and Mira Henchi.

She said that the idea came about for the mural on Sullivan’s Quay as a response to the issues that had kicked off in America with the group wanting to speak out in solidarity.

Upon completion, the response to the mural was “mad” which she said was brilliant for the group as they had been learning about how creativity can add to activism.

The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA).
The BLM mural which has received mountains of attention since it was implemented on Sullivan's Quay was created by four of the Climate Youth Artivists (CYA).

Speaking about the response the mural received, Helen O’Keeffe, said: “Hot Press magazine did a piece on it and local radio stations got in touch, so it was really successful in getting the message out there.

“It showed how art can support activism and bring people together to work towards a cause.

“It also attracted the attention of Stevie G, who invited CYA to join forces with the Cork Migrant youth group he works with to work on further creative activist projects, like the Nano Nagle window mural, and it even featured as a location in a music video by Limerick rappers Murli and Godknows,” she said.

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