Marielle Franco's Image Takes Over Walls All Over Brazilian Cities And Beyond

Artists and critics say slain councilwoman's face has the makings of a pop icon

Street art on Avenida São João, São Paulo, allude to Marielle Franco's execution Folhapress

São Paulo

Marielle Franco, the Rio de Janeiro councilwoman who was executed a year ago, is more alive than ever in Brazilian street art, in a sort of spontaneous movement sprawled through cities in Brazil and abroad.

This movement is giving the favela-born leftwing politician an aura of pop icon, with her broad smile and curly hair and at the same time, it demands from the authorities to bring the killers to justice.

For Baixo Ribeiro, owner of street art gallery Choque Cultural, the phenomenon is an example of art "that strives to make meaningful dialogue" with the people. "Urban art amplifies the message because it uses public spaces," he said.

The same thing happens with admirers of Che Guevara and Mao Tsé-Tung and other names connected to politics "have used this protest iconography many times." Ribeiro also said that brands appropriating these images, like in t-shirts, is something "harmful to the protest itself."

There are other examples of political street art. The Black Panthers used New York city walls to spread their anti-racism agenda.

More recently, British artist Banksy painted a mural demanding peace on a wall between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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