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    Racist graffiti tags in Brussels call for racism awareness

    Instagram of inspi.brussels
    Instagram of inspi.brussels

    On thirty different locations all over Brussels, the movement Fifty Shades of Racism used graffiti tags to show that racism is a daily reality for many people. Racist statements like “Tu es belle pour une noire” (You are pretty for a black girl) and “Papa m’a dit que tous les Arabes sont terroristes” (Daddy told me that all Arabs are terrorists) are found all over the city, applied as biodegradable ‘clean tags’, as a part of an awareness project.

    “We are a group of ten young people who want to make the population aware of the impact of racism through art, photography and social media,” said Gaëlle van Rosen, who launched the movement because she says she is often the victim and/or witness of racism, reported Bruzz. She wants to make clear that racism is not something exceptional, but a daily reality for many people, she added.

    With the approaching elections on 26 May, van Rosen thought it was time to take action and raise awareness among the population. “Unfortunately, extremist parties are doing very well in Europe. I want to encourage people to vote for diversity,” she said to Bruzz.

    “Today we are holding a major campaign with discriminatory statements that we, unfortunately, hear very often in Brussels, such as “Go back to Africa”. The sentences are all taken from testimonies that Van Rosen recorded on video and placed on the Instagram page fifty_shades_of_racism. By doing this, Van Rosen wants to give a voice to the people who are victims of racism.

    The tags also serve as an announcement for the large exhibition on 24 May that Fifty Shades of Racism is organizing in collaboration with the Inside Out Project at the Mont des Arts in Brussels. “I have made more than five hundred portraits of people in Brussels who want to stand up to racism. Those portraits are printed in large formats from one metre to one and a half metres and will occupy the entire Mont des Arts,” said van Rosen to Bruzz.

    According to her, it is necessary to confront people with the consequences of discrimination. “By bringing people into contact with the story and suffering of others, I think we can eliminate many prejudices,” she added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times