Brave Wall by Katerina Voronina
Keen readers may be surprised by the term “Brave Wall”, as URBAN NATION’s large-format murals are usually called ONE WALL. “Brave Walls” are murals dedicated to human rights defenders and are initiated and realized worldwide by Amnesty International in cooperation with the global street art community. Now, in a joint collaboration between us and Amnesty International, the first “Brave Wall” was created in Berlin, a work by artist Katerina Voronina, which honors human rights defender Marielle Franco.
On March 8, 2021, this year’s International Women’s Day, Berlin’s first “Brave Wall” will be presented to the public, addressing the issue of women’s rights and human rights defenders. “Brave Wall” is a project within the framework of Amnesty International‘s “Stand Up for the Brave” campaign, which calls on government officials and other influential people in society to see that international agreements on the protection of human rights defenders are adhered to and implemented. The first “Brave Wall” was created in London in 2017. There are now “Brave Walls” in over 20 countries – and now also in Berlin.
In autumn 2020, Berlin-based artists Sophia Hirsch, Coco Bergholm, Katerina Voronina, Gamze Yalcin and Maja Hürst were invited to take part in the competition jointly organized by Amnesty International in Germany and URBAN NATION. Only female artists were deliberately invited, as this first Berlin “Brave Wall” was intended to address the issue of women’s rights. To have an artist design a project like this in a field of art that is already very male-dominated, such as street art, would not have done justice to the political demand for equality for women on International Women’s Day.
The jury chose the work of Moscow-born, Berlin-based artist Katerina Voronina. Voronina drew inspiration for her application from the story of human rights defender Marielle Franco, who was murdered in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro on March 14, 2018.
“Marielle Franco made a deep impression on me. She was a strong, courageous woman who fought unwaveringly against power structures and unfortunately lost her life as a result. It’s time to finally accept and stand up for the fact that every person in this world has equal rights, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, nationality and religion.”Katerina Voronina
Katerina Voronina is known for striking illustrations of cityscapes, always featuring characters. Her works can be found on the walls of playgrounds and in cafes, and are published in magazines and books worldwide. Prior to coming to Berlin in 2018, she worked in Tel Aviv for two years.
“Realizing this political mural on the topic of women’s rights together with Katerina Voronina is a special moment for the URBAN NATION Museum program. The 8th of March was declared a public holiday in Berlin one year ago. To present the first “Brave Wall” in Berlin and Germany on this day, in cooperation with Amnesty International, puts the project in a fitting context. Katerina Voronina’s new work in the series of “Brave Walls” refers to the tradition of political murals by artists such as Diego Rivera in the 1930s, and thereby restores a new relevance to facade painting that it had partially lost as a pop cultural phenomenon.”Jan Sauerwald, Executive Director of the URBAN NATION Museum
The “Brave Wall” by Katerina Voronina is located at Gitschiner Strasse 64-67 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and will be completed on March 08, 2021, International Women’s Day.
Photos: Nika Kramer