The chilly morning of October 29, 2014 a crowd gathered up by the side of the main doors of OCAD to give young artist Pablo Munoz a warm welcome to commemorate and congratulate him as being the winner of the 4th Wall for the Youth Solidarity Project. The Michaelle Jean Foundation and the Art Gallery of Ontario together, celebrate World Pride 2014 by giving young artists a platform to break silence, solitude and struggle against prejudice through national arts contest, a digital art exhibition and an outdoor solidarity mural.
It is a platform for youth to be heard, as well as acts as a tool of social change for Canada's Two Spirited and LGBTTIQQ communities. The artist, Pablo Muñoz explained that a lot of homophobia has been embedded in societies since the time of colonialism. He envisions that there are many others like him who should have the opportunity to have their work showcased and acknowledged by the society.
We still have a lot tiers to break, he says. It is important to have safe spaces for artists to express themselves freely. Pablo gave special thanks to Kara Springer for being his constant support and advised young individuals to connect with mentors of their own. He talked about how he found his inspiration for this mural when he worked with the immigrant and refugee community.
For the last thirteen years, this community shaped and encouraged him to do political work. I also got the opportunity to have a short chat with Pablo to be able to better understand his perspective and thoughts behind the mural. I asked him whether the mural depicts a border between two specific countries; he replied by saying it is a border between two countries but not any certain country. It shows during times of insurgency, humanity shall prevail because of love that can overcome anything at any time. Thus love holds the power to make humanity human.