Picturing place Chicago’s Wall of Respect: how a mural elicited a sense of collective ownership

7cdbea3a-b5d8-4fa4-bab4-9c93eec55b85-bestSizeAvailable12.08.14 The Guardian
What power do community murals have? This photograph was taken by Robert Abbott Sengstacke, a member of the visual arts workshop of the Organisation of Black American Culture (Obac), set up in South Side, Chicago, in 1967. Obac was a multi-disciplinary collective of artistic, community and intellectual practitioners active within the US civil rights movement…
This community artwork combined multiple images to make a highly visible setting. It was created through a distinctly collaborative process. The artists and community debated and agreed a list of black heroes to feature in the mural, using Obac’s definition – “any Black person who honestly reflects the beauty of black life and genius in his or her style” – and who demonstrated originality and social consciousness for other less fortunate black people.

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