This vibrant and thought-provoking mural, created through the collaborative efforts of local artists, students, and Congress attendees, captures the essence of “Reckonings and Re-Imaginings.” At first glance, the mural dazzles with its vivid colors and captivating imagery, drawing viewers into a celebration of diversity and artistic expression.
However, a hidden feature within this captivating artwork carries a profound message. Through the skillful use of transparent UV spray paint and varnish, the mural reveals an overlaid image of Jully Black, passionately singing the Canadian national anthem at the NBA Finals 2023. The lyrics, transformed to “Our Home ON Native Land,” emphasize the urgent need for acknowledging and addressing the complex issues surrounding racism and injustice in Canada.
The intentional juxtaposition of the bright and beautiful base mural, painted by talented students and artists, serves as both a visual attraction and a powerful metaphor. It challenges the prevalent notion that racism does not exist in Canada, inviting viewers to reconsider their perspectives and confront the uncomfortable truths that lie beneath the surface.
The transparent layer, symbolizing our collective truth, becomes visible when the viewer changes their perspective or employs the appropriate tools to fully comprehend the mural’s true nature. It reveals the nuanced and ambiguous experiences of Black and Brown communities in Canada, urging us to engage in genuine reckonings with the past and to reimagine a more inclusive and just future.
“Reckonings and Re-Imaginings: Our Home On Native Land” embodies the spirit of the Congress 2023 theme while reflecting York University’s commitment to social engagement and the decolonization of arts and education. This mural invites dialogue, challenges assumptions, and inspires collective action towards a more equitable society.