NEW YORK—Mural artists, writers and activists will converge on the West Side of Manhattan Wednesday for a mural campaign by New York-based artist and activist David W. Brown.
Brown, who’s known as “a muralist in exile,” will paint the mural that will be located in the former headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, a New York City-based charity that provides relief and assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The project is expected to raise more than $100,000 for the organization and its programs, which are known as the UNRWA Relief and Assistance Program.
The mural will be on display from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m., at UNRAW Headquarters, which was once the headquarters of UNRAP and is located in Manhattan’s Battery Park.
The artist is planning to paint a mural of the Statue of Liberty, the United States Capitol and the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, along with a memorial to the thousands of people who died in the 2014 Lockerbie, Scotland, terrorist bombing.
Brown will be working on the mural during a two-day, three-day and four-day series of events that include a series of talks and demonstrations.
The events, which will include a lecture and a Q&A, are slated to run from June 16-21, 2019.
Brown says the mural project is meant to be a celebration of the people, places and stories of the African diaspora, but the work also aims to shed light on what he calls “the tear-jerker legacy” of the movement.
He said he plans to make a case for why “black people deserve our rights, that our rights are not reserved for them and that we have a right to dignity, to a decent life, to peace and love.”
Brown says he is inspired by the way people have responded to the Black Liberation Movement and the civil rights movement and that the people’s struggle for freedom is not over.
“There is a struggle, but it’s not over,” Brown said.
Brown’s mural will focus on the UN’s Relief and Support Program, which helps the world’s most vulnerable people. “
I believe that we will see a resurgence of these kinds of movements, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United states, where they have been revived.”
Brown’s mural will focus on the UN’s Relief and Support Program, which helps the world’s most vulnerable people.
He also hopes to draw attention to the importance of “human rights as a matter of national and global governance” and “a recognition that the human rights and dignity of people in other countries is also a matter for international governance.”
Brown said he chose the United Nation’s headquarters because it is one of the few institutions that provide permanent refuge for Palestinians who are denied refugee status in the Middle East.
He added that it is a “fantastic location” because it has the highest concentration of African Americans in the U and its proximity to New York makes it a perfect place to showcase the work of his mural.
In addition to the UN relief program, Brown will paint a memorial in honor of victims of the Lockerie bombing.
“My intention is to make this one of my first public works in New York,” Brown explained.
“This is my first time doing public art, so it will be something that I am really excited about.”
The mural is being painted by Brooklyn-based muralist and activist Tarek El-Sayed.
Brown said the mural campaign is meant “to take the focus off of the current issues and the current events.”
Brown has also painted murals in his native New Jersey, including one that depicted the scene of the 2012 New Jersey State Assembly race riots, which left eight people dead and dozens more injured.
In that mural, Brown also painted a woman wearing a hijab, a symbol of the Islamic faith, in the street.
Brown is not the first artist to paint murals of Black Lives Matters activists.
In August, New York artist Sarah Pappas painted a mural depicting the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man who died after a chokehold was applied by police officers to him.
Pappacases mural was funded by a $100 donation from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“When people see that mural and think about the lives of people like Eric Garner and the death and the trauma that that’s caused in people’s lives, they realize that we are all connected and that this is not something that is exclusive to Black Lives, or Muslim Lives, Black Lives,” Pappascas said.
Brown’s murals will be part of the Global Artists Network of the New York Art Institute’s New Directions in Art program.
The Global Artists program has funded a number of public art projects, including the installation of a mural by Brazilian artist Raimundo Alves in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in 2014.
Alves’ installation is known for its dark, atmospheric nature