#NotACrime Campaign: A Collection of Street Art (Part 1)

Shown above is the work of Leonardo Donanzan painted on a wall in Americana, Brazil, and this painting is one of many being carried out around the world as a part of the #NotACrime campaign.

#NotACrime is a global campaign which uses street art to raise awareness about the denial of education for the Baha’is in Iran and in this Baha’i Blog Image post, we’ve decided to showcase some of this wonderful artwork going up on walls around the world.

The Baha’is are Iran’s largest religious minority, and the Iranian government has persecuted them since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Businesses are torched, people are fired from their jobs, thousands are harassed and jailed, and hundreds have been killed. The government also bans the Baha’is from teaching and studying in Iranian universities. (Read some background to the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran here).

The above painting by Leonardo Donanzan from Americana (State of São Paulo) is a lucid depiction of a young Baha’i student, and he hopes that this work will serve as a constant warning against the prohibition of rights and any form of religious intolerance.

Location: Avenida São Jerônimo, 1495.

Freddy Sam wall art 864x576

This black and white image of a boy holding a pigeon is by Freddy Sam found in Cape Town, South Africa.

Freddy Sam is a self-taught artist born in Johannesburg and now living in Cape Town. He is renowned for his large scale murals which focus on bringing to light relevant social issues, exploring the nature of man in present society, in history and in nature. His achievements in public art have made it onto CNN, Mail & Guardian’s ‘200 young people in SA who make a difference’ and National Geographic’s list of ‘11 street art greats’ alongside the likes of Banksy.

The mural in Cape Town titled “Our Gentle Hearts” has captured the attention of city dwellers, poised amongst the buildings a photorealistic painting of a boy tending to an injured bird, the elegant text overlay reads: OUR GENTLE HEARTS, FEEL MUCH AND KNOW LITTLE.

The artist explains: “…this text is not only about the students who are denied education or those who deny basic human rights, but it is also referring to the rest of society, as in today’s world we should not be so ignorant and stand by whilst crimes against humanity exist”.

Location: 24 Barack Street, City Centre.

Krimsone and Scott Nagy wall art 864x576

Krimsone and Scott Nagy teamed up to create this colourful piece for the #NotACrime campaign in Sydney, Australia.

Krimsone is a Sydney based artist that practices in fine art as well as street art. With qualifications in printmaking and lots of experience with aerosol his work mixes high and lowbrow art together.

Scott Nagy’s style shines through with his attention to detail and more surreal scenes and is combined with Krimsone’s love of animals and vivid colour schemes. Their mural depicts that of the Persian national bird, the nightingale, it takes flight aided with study tools to push its momentum upwards and away. The grey strings of the government trap its wings and try to prevent its take off, impeding the right of education the national bird, and the people are unable to fly and soar.

Location: Newtown, behind the restaurant ‘Lentil As Anything’.

Cyrcle wall art 864x486

This painting of a broken ruler is by Cyrcle in New York, USA.

American artist David Torres also known as “Rabi,” is part of an art duo called “Cyrcle”. His artwork focuses on life and the human condition. His piece for #NotACrime is of a ruler broken in half with the words “Made In Iran,” to depict a shattered education system.

Location: 126th street in the Nelson Mandela Memorial Garden.

Alexandre Keto wall art 864x576

This painting of the baobab tree is by Alexandre Keto in New York, USA.

For Brazilian artist Alexandre Keto, the marginalised Brazilians of African descent, are a key part of his art. He has always wanted to transform the lives of under-represented people and to try to create a community through his art. Alexandre has painted a wall on Frederick Douglass Blvd, depicting two women and a child under a baobab tree which symbolises knowledge and wisdom. The tree has the image of the Tehran University gates carved into its trunk resembling the barring of education for Baha’is in Iran.

Location: Amsterdam News Building on the corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd and 126th Street.

We’ll be posting another selection of this wonderful street art in the near future, but in the meantime be sure to check out the #NotACrime website and support the campaign.

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About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Discussion 1 Comment

  1. Alexandre Keto NY USA painting:
    “…two women and a child…” I see a baby on the mother’s back?
    “…tree has the image of the Tehran University gates carved into it’d trunk….” I see a face, no gate????
    These are great pictures. Thank you for sending them…..despite the conflict. Shirlie

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