|JR art project in a favela in Rio de Janeiro|
|another JR installation|
The speech is really interesting, and worth going through the barrier of JR's heavy accent for. I didn't know JR by name, but, as the speech unfolded, I realised that I was aware of his art -- I've seen amazing photos of his giant posters pasted onto walls and roofs around the world. I'd always thought they looked incredible, but I had no idea about the philosophy behind them, which (put very crudely) is to do with confronting communities that are tearing themselves apart with simple images of humanity that undercut sectarianism (as in the images he pasted up in Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah, Tel-Aviv, and Jerusalem which show Arabs and Jews side by side doing the same jobs) or that draw attention to the victims of drug-dealing (which I think is the idea behind the images of mothers pasted up in the Rio favela). In Paris after they suffered riots a little similar to the ones we've had in the UK, he pasted up photos of the rioters pulling faces in an attempt to humanise them.
|Face to Face on the Jerusalem dividing wall|
The exciting thing is that you can load up your own photo on the Inside Out website and it will be sent back to you as a poster, ready for you to paste up. I just uploaded a photo but I don't know how long it will be before the poster arrives. It all seems to be free of charge, which is perhaps down to the wonder of TED.
On the project website you can see all the different kinds of images people have used and where they're putting them. It's daunting to think of pasting something up out in the world -- I will have to give my choice of location some serious thought. But I like the idea of participating in something a lot bigger than me.