Zabou x Alaniz, Silenced, Teufelsberg, Berlin

A description of the image is that there is around 10 hands that has a lighter hue with a blue undertone is what takes over most of the frame of the painting/mural. In the center of the painting there is a person, from the mid bridge-high cheek area to the forehead. Whose hands, similar shade to the person’s face that is being shown, are gripping/clinching the bottom row of hands that are engulfing them. The image at first glance seems as if the blue undertone hands are trying to silence the only person that is on the mural. The hands of the person seems as if they are trying to pull down the hands around them to try to let them speak and express themselves on what they want. Their eyes are open wide, the eyebrow on the right is slightly raised higher adding to the look of challenging the lookers to keep ignoring the cause that is going on or to keep walking by why there people being pulled into the dark to keep them down. The hands surrounding the figure seem to represent the majority while the one getting silenced seems to be a person of color that is the one getting silenced.

After doing more research about the mural, the artists Alaniz, Argentinian, and Zabou, French. Made the painting on a wall in Berlin that is titled Silenced in which ‘is dedicated to all the women who suffer from violence, in all its forms’ (Zabou Alaniz). The artist have used the talents to be able to bring awareness to a matter that like the blue undertone hands are doing to the women has been trying to shut down any way that can the want of people speaking out about the matter. Something that can be connected to the matters that even is going on now with the debate of the bans of legal abortion. Women have always been silenced on matters that impact them the most; if they are continually silenced or have their demands for change dismissed then you bet that they will do what they can in their power to make sure you hear their concerns. Something that should be noted is that the hands holding down the women can’t as much as gendered, making the argument that men aren’t the only ones that silence the women on fighting matters they find important. Other women do it to each other as well. The art piece reminded me of the HOODED series that was done by Myles Loftin, he challenged the way that hoodies had a negative connotation when young black males wear one. By making a photo series playing with the colors of the hoods and how the young men interact with each other in the photograph. Though Alaniz and Zabou are tackling a more serious topic both artists use different form of arts to bring attention to important matters that is going on in society.

Side comment: Something that I was struggling with was the fact on how I describe this piece with using the correct terms. This piece is like a mural because it is a piece of art that is on a wall, on display to be appreciated along with the message it conveys. But it’s also a street art piece since it technically wasn’t made with the intentions of being an ‘official’ mural. Something that I know can be debated on forever on whether it is vandalism, street art, or a mural. Which it could be all three or just one, but that’s the beauty of art it is different for everyone and no one is wrong because it’s interpretation.

Street Art, Graffiti, Tagging, or other?

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