I was recently invited to facilitate a mural with Kristin Bloom’s students at the Paulo Freire Freedom School in Tucson, AZ. This is a very unique school with a focus environmental and social justice curriculum. It’s a busy place with active parent and community involvement. The school is truly a living testimony to work of the great Brazilian popular educator Paulo Freire (1921-97).
Many thanks to the Tucson YMCA “It’s Time to Talk Youth Forum” for sponsoring this beautiful mural located in the stairwell. Congratulations to the 13 students artists on a successful project!
The students will report on this mural project in their own words.
“The theme of the mural is breaking down the walls of prejudice and becoming one. A giant mural focusing on peace.
On the left of the mural, two different races are split between a big wall. The brick wall is how we are separated by racism. The heart with the flames represents love falling to bind the whites and the blacks together, bounded by love. Love breaks down the wall of hate and brings us together.
The people represent segregation and the heart is supposed to be crashing down on the wall so it lets the people be together. The people in robes represent how all the cultures came together
The middle one has everyone at Kiva and the pole in the middle is supposed to be everyone coming together into the world.
All the colors blend together and all the major problems were finally solved. The love for each other is painted onto the wall. Our Kiva brings us together. Creating roots to a wonderful world. Kiva itself is a miracle, and all of us together in peace and love. A strong wall, but only love can break it down. One whole community coming together. No one fighting or anything. Everyone at Kiva being one big kind and caring diverse community. No segregation, only integration.
In the third section, there are two faces kissing. The faces are light "white" and dark "black" coffee being poured from Chinese and Native American style cups. On the tea cup the man in the maze is painted on it and the man in the maze is the symbol of the tribe Tohono O’odham in Arizona. The blue teacup is an illustration of a Chinese teacup. It represents different ethnicities coming together and meeting peacefully. No color or person is better. "