Brave Wall pays tribute to human rights defender Marielle Franco

  • by Stefan Fellechner

The URBAN NATION museum in Berlin and Amnesty International are celebrating International Women’s Day together on the 8th of March. In collaboration with the artist Katerina Voronina, a mural has been created to honour the murdered human rights defender Marielle Franco. 50 litres of acrylic paint now adorn a building facade in Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district..

Amnesty International’s first Brave Wall in Germany pays tribute to the work of human rights defender Marielle Franco who was murdered on the 14th of March 2018 in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro. To commemorate Marielle Franco, over the past few days the artist Katerina Voronina has been busy painting her first large mural on the facade of a residential building located in Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district at 64-67 Gitschiner Strasse – a public memorial that was created in collaboration with and thanks to the expertise of URBAN NATION.

“Women’s rights are human rights and therefore an important part of our human rights work. I am delighted that the first Brave Wall in Germany was designed by a woman, Katerina Voronina, and that it recognises the admirable commitment of human rights defender Marielle Franco,” explained Dr Julia Duchrow, Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International in Germany.

Katerina Voronina is filled with hope about completing the project: “People are at the heart of my works, so creating the Brave Wall gave me the opportunity to focus on a special and courageous woman. I am passionate about illustration – the associated messages are particularly important to me.”

“Creating this political mural on the topic of women’s rights together with Katerina Voronina is a special moment for the URBAN NATION museum’s programme. The 8th of March was only declared a public holiday in Berlin just last year, so presenting the first Brave Wall in Berlin – and indeed Germany – on this day in cooperation with Amnesty International really puts the project into context,” said Jan Sauerwald, executive director of the URBAN NATION museum.

Brave Wall Marielle Franco
© Nika Kramer

The mural, which measures around 100 square metres, came into being quickly thanks to the spring-like temperatures of the past few days. It took 10 days of creative work, almost 50 litres of acrylic paint and countless brushstrokes to give the building facade on Gitschiner Strasse a bright new coat of paint. Passengers riding Berlin’s underground line 1 won’t fail to miss the Brave Wall either.

Background of the Brave Wall in Berlin

The artist

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.


Amnesty International is independent of governments, political parties, ideologies, economic interests and religions
Human rights organization. Amnesty has been campaigning, appeal letters and documentation for the victims of
Human rights abuses around the world. The organization has more than seven million supporters worldwide. 1977 received
Amnesty the Nobel Peace Prize.


As a collaborative partner, URBAN NATION was also involved in the selection process. The jury comprised representatives from URBAN NATION and Amnesty International as well as the journalist Miriam Davoudvandi.

Because female artists and their works are still underrepresented in the fields of contemporary and urban art, the URBAN NATION museum decided to address and change this in its overarching museum work as well as in the individual projects in which it is involved. The joint Brave Wall project with Amnesty therefore fits perfectly into the museum’s overall curatorial agenda.

Stand Up for the Brave campaign

The Brave Wall project is part of Amnesty International’s Stand Up for the Brave campaign (German: “Mut braucht Schutz”-Kampagne), 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. People around the world are standing up for their rights and the rights of others each and every day. But those who speak out for human rights are increasingly being smeared, subject to surveillance, having their work closed down by repressive laws –and sometimes even being murdered. An ever-growing number of brave activists will not be frightened off. They dare to have a voice, and they are using it to call a stop to human rights violations. They are students, women, parents and many others who are taking a stand against torture, displacement, corruption, discrimination and other acts of wrongdoing.


#IWD2021 #StandUpfortheBrave

Press contact

The press kit includes images, video material and background information on how the Brave Wall was created. Please note the information on the (royalty-free) rights of use.

For requests to interview Dr Julia Duchrow on the political classification of the project and the Stand Up For The Brave (German: “Mut braucht Schutz”) campaign as well as Katerina Voronina about the artwork, please contact the Press Office.

For requests to interview Jan Sauerwald, executive director of the URBAN NATION museum, please contact

(Museums management and choice of artist: Jan Sauerwald)