A little bit more coverage on the John Smith mural in Richmond by Style Weekly,
And our full statement we released to the press:
The Wingnut Anarchist Collective’s article in response to the new John Smith mural was based on the lack of critique of colonialism, genocide and racism obvious in the mural or the article written about it. Apparently the artist Gaia was trying to make the piece ironic, but he also admits to not knowing Richmond well and not spending much time on his concept. The irony isn’t obvious, instead of bringing to light prominent figures in indigenous struggle, the artist has chosen to create a carbon copy of an already existing statue dedicated to one of the founders of Native American genocide.
We challenged the mural and successfully initiated conversations about racism – conversations which need to be happening all the time given the ongoing institutional racism in Richmond as is represented in multiple city sponsored monuments to white colonizers (Columbus, John Smith, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, George Washington) and highlighted by the Redskins stadium, environmental racism of Norrell Elementary school, skyrocketing police and jail budgets, and push for a baseball stadium on sacred historic ground in Shockoe Bottom.
We hope that future street art and murals in RVA will be painted by local artists and represent people of color and indigenous struggles, speak out against the status quo and speak for a better, more just society.