A mural by two Syrian painters paying tribute to George Floyd, a 46 year old, unarmed, African American man killed in police custody, was painted and shared across social media this week (June 1).
Floyd’s face is depicted – alongside the scene of his death and the words “I can’t breathe” – in the painting by Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun, which they describe as a “call for peace and love”, according toArab News. This represents just one of many works of street art that have appeared worldwide to memorialise Floyd and express solidarity to the anti-racism demonstrations ignited by his death.
Other murals have been painted in locations worldwide, including Manchester, Dublin, Berlin, Barcelona, and cities across the US.
The phrase, “I can’t breathe” – some of George Floyd’s final words – is a recurring motif in the artworks, alongside calls to remember his name. These have also been displayed on placards and chanted during the recent protests against racism and police brutality.
Floyd died on the evening of May 25 after a white police officer, the 44-year-old Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes, ignoring his cries. His death closely follows those of other black Americans at the hands of the police, including Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor.
A painting dedicated to Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis – by the artists Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, and Greta McLain – incorporates the names of other black Americans killed by police, with the slogan “say our names” and depictions of fists raised in solidarity.
“Our idea was to depict Floyd not as a martyr but as a social justice hero,” Herrera tellsHyperallergic.
View more powerful public artworks from global street artists below. On May 30, the artist Jammie Holmes also created sky banners to honour George Floyd, flying them over five US cities among those in which protests have swelled since the killing.
Teach kids about racism & privilege. Teach them to recognise their privilege- white, class, straight, cis, male privilege & teach them to be allies. Teach them to always stand up to racism & discrimination. Teach them to do better than the generations that came before them. pic.twitter.com/zpSWGXZNgu