This mural is about uniting local environmental justice issues by coming together in healing. Specifically, it addresses the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) and the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) issues by highlighting some figureheads in these local movements alongside images of migratory animals.
Saiyare Refaei / Re-emerge in Healing
953 Market St.(Market Street side)
July 19, 2018 – May 16, 2019
Saiyare thanks for the assistance from Elvia Beltran, Dania Tolentino and Shajuanda Tate and Tiffanny Hammonds. Support from Spaceworks Artscapes and Aaron Goodge. Dedicated to the original stewards of this land, to the advocates and warriors impacted by the NWDC and LNG in Tacoma. I am still so honored to have uplifted some of my local heroes:
- For the last 14 years or more, Maru Mora has been an outspoken advocate for immigrants as through NWDC Resistance and Mijente. Her courage to keep persisting and intentionality to act upon the wishes of those detained sets precedent for local and national movements to end immigrant detention.
- Dakota who I feel fortunate enough to have seen find his voice in the local NO LNG movement has become a prominent leader standing with his people of the Puyallup Tribe and for this betterment of the broader community. He truly speaks truth to power from the heart.
- Mariah has been an amazing young person who shows up without complaints and knows the importance of her roots and these movements that are striving for something greater than herself. All of these folks are striving for a better now and tomorrow.
I’m am so grateful to have been influenced by them and so many others not named or featured here but who have been essential for keeping these linked movements alive. Inspired by all of them the mural reads:
WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO BE POSSESSIVE, WE CAN NO LONGER PROFIT OFF OF CAGING AND DEPORTING OUR NEIGHBORS, AND CALL THIS A WELCOMING CITY. WE CAN NO LONGER RAPE AND POLLUTE EARTH FOR HER RESOURCES AND EXPECT HER TO SURVIVE FOR OUR CHILDRENS’ CHILDREN. WE MUST LISTEN TO THOSE IMPACTED BY ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICES. TRUST THEM. PROTECT THEM. LOVE THEM.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped paint, stopped by the wall to say “hi” or encouraged me from afar. Your support helps this healing process for this city and for my own healing journey. Someone who inspired and helped me understand the value of community art also harmed me. Each time I take on a project like this it is painful but part of my healing journey too. It is a vulnerable place to be, on a busy street corner not knowing who will pass by, what people will say or assume. I continue to be grateful for safety and the kindness that I have received so far through this process.