Humanitarian Ar+

In his instantly recognizable, grandly sweeping style, eL Seed has painted Arabic calligraffiti murals everywhere from Tunisia to Paris. Recently, he created his most ambitious project yet: a mural that spans 50 buildings that can only be fully seen from a nearby mountain. eL Seed pursued this self-funded project as a way to make a political point,…

via The wonder and humanity of a mural that spans 50 buildings — ideas.ted.com

As part of my first few steps to going back to blogging I made myself a promise that every morning right after my morning rituals I will try to read certain blogs and/or read a few pages from the book I am currently reading. So I started this promise today, I browsed the Discover section of WordPress and that led me to the post above.

At first, I thought the gigantic wall murals were computerized but when I took a closer look it was hand-painted by  a certain artist named eL Seed. What caught my attention here was the wall mural, of course. His wall mural is not just art rather it is a reflection of the inhabitants of the area. The mural is the interpretation of a quotation eL Seed personally chose for the locals, which I must say is impressive because it shows that he spent time and effort to personally know his subject/s. He did not paint the murals just for the sake of publicity and art. He did it for humanity.

Now, living in a chaotic, urban jungle like Manila has stirred up my limited knowledge on urban planning and art. I traverse the 23.8-kilometer EDSA almost every day and the gray, vandalized and polluted walls that I see make my face twitch. Well mentally speaking those walls almost make me vomit inside my mouth. Those walls did not ease the stress that the commuters have, it seems those walls add more to the everyday stress of those poor commuters. Yes, there are certain parts where the walls were painted with Filipino-inspired art murals, and it was a good start but there was no continuity, the project just stopped, and the maintenance clearly sucks. The once colourful wall murals are now fading because of pollution. The murals are starting to turn Gray and starting to look like vandals.

I believe that a part of the government’s responsibility to provide effective and efficient roads and mass transportation is to provide a surrounding where people can harmoniously interconnect with each other and with their selves, and one way to promote such things is for the government to build commuter-friendly roads. As a start the government can paint colourful wall murals, these wall murals will also symbolise the Philippine culture. It will also tell the story of how we, the Filipinos, came to be. It will be like hitting two birds with one stone. Commuters will have a glimpse or a refresher of Philippine history and culture and at the same time they will have a breather from all the stress they have from work, from their home etc.

Oh for heaven’s sake I pray that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the government arm mainly responsible for the beautification and development of EDSA, will stop wasting time and budget by hiring pitiful painters. I hope that with the start of a new government MMDA together with local government units will actually cooperate and change the 23.8-kilometer gruesome stretch of EDSA into a commuters’ paradise.

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