Speechless (universal protest)

Acrylic on canvas 150 x 100 cm -2022

At the root of this painting is an iconic photograph published by Zuma Press. A Black Lives Matters protest in the troubled streets of America. This protest was also marked by the white face masks that Covid elevated to an everyday scene on the streets, giving this march its covered-up look and which itself became a basis for protests.

Diving deeper into the crowd, we come across several characters from different demonstrations. Let me introduce them to you

On the left behind the central male figure, in white, we see Alaa Salah, a symbol of the Sudanese civil uprising, April 2022. Her dress ‘Thobe’ is a symbol of Sudanese mothers and grandmothers who protested against dictatorship in the 1980s.

On the far right between the central male figure and to the left of the female figure with the sunglasses and belly bag, we see an anonymous protester in a march against the invasion of Ukraine, March 2022.

In front of her in the white dress, a visitor from the past, a female protester participating in the famous Civil Rights march in Washington D.C., August 1963

Last but not least, to the left of the female figure with the sunglasses and belly bag, a girl in a striped t-shirt and a braid, whom we have come to know as Greta Thunberg attending a climate march, during her America tour in 2021.

The protest signs are blank. Blank but universal: I oppose! like the white placards and blank papers used in Russia as a last stand of protest to show a vote against the Ukraine invasion 2022.

In my case, the more reason and cause for protest I see and feel, the fewer words I seem to be able to find for it.