How best to stay on track living productive, happy lives in the midst of communal fear and sadness? Tap into the healing power of nature, but make it more potent by pairing it with paint.
Combine urban plant life with graffiti and serve up free smiles with an immediate reminder of the best aspects of humanity – kindness, creativity, and humor. These images are from cities around the world; but the idea could easily transplant to Irbid (Jordan), Gedera (Israel), Ramallah (West Bank), and Daara (Syria).
Good news in the Middle East is muffled by urgent updates on conflict in Iraq, Syria, Israel and Gaza. Switch channels only to get freaked by facts on MERS and Ebola, twin epidemics looming over the region.
On a slow news day climate change grabs the headlines; coverage of extreme weather, record-breaking drought, and resulting food shortages and price hikes. And Islamic State (IS) trumps all. Incessant negativity demands a counterpoint – positive reminders of what’s good in us all.
So how about a challenge? Let’s start a movement. See what these anonymous artists have done in their neighborhoods, then take a deep breath and assess your own surroundings.
If your hopeless with a paintbrush, enlist a capable friend – some of the simplest designs are the most brilliant!
It’s a twist on guerrilla gardening: don’t change nature, just enhance it with some paint. Then take a picture and share it with us. Disease and terror can go viral, but so can happiness. Game on!
Green Prophet has brought your stories of other stealth public art projects like the painted public stairways in Lebanon and Turkey and the art collective Dispatch Beirut that repairs cracks and holes in Lebanon with Lego bricks. Why stop there?
Now that everyone’s been doused with ice water, it’s time for a new communal dare. Go out and do your bit to cheer up your community. Let’s express ourselves in public – it’s a most powerful form of social media.