The first major mural to be painted on the iconic Village Underground this year has seen a fun effort from Dave the Chimp and his placard waving beans.
Painted in support of the Education is not a crime campaign, Dave’s beans are protesting in a nice way against what they see about bean equality because of course beans have rights too.
The campaign itself is part of the wider #notacrime campaign which advocates for human rights in Iran with a view of raising awareness Worldwide against some of the abuses there which minority groups suffer.
In particular #notacrime draws attention to the plight of the Baha’i religious minority in Iran who often find themselves denied access to education. In fact they are currently banned from both studying and teaching at universities in the country because of their beliefs.
According to Maziar Bahari, the former Newsweek journalist who himself was imprisoned in Iran. “I’m grateful that we’re able to shine a light on how the Iranian government is mistreating the Baha’is as I believe it serves as a barometer for understanding whether Iran is ready to operate like a modern and rational government.”
Dave the Chimps work is just the first part in a campaign which will see other smaller pieces placed around London with the work itself curated by Cedar Lewisohn. For him Dave’s work is about taking a complex political message and making it understandable. “The reason for placing it onto the street is not only for the local London audience but considering the potential power of social media, opens it up to a global one too” he said.
For Dave, a British artist based out of Berlin, street art is a political act. It is, he says, “a way to remind people there is freedom available for them if they are willing to believe in a better world and do the work needed to create that reality… To deny young people education is to deny us all a brighter future.”
The Education is not a crime campaign uses the hashtag #notacrime and the website can be found here and to see more work from Dave the Chimp try here . The village underground wall in Shoreditch where the mural was painted was visited on Saturday 9 January 2016.
Dave the Chimp mural gallery
Finally Urban Kultur Blog managed to catch up with Dave the Chimp and recorded a podcast with him. So if you’ve got a spare bit of time it’s well worth a listen