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Opinion: Art Speaks

Riots and Protests Rock the World, and the Art Left Behind Speaks Volumes

I’m visiting France, and as most have heard riots have been occurring throughout the country due to the death of Nahel M. The 17-year-old kid was shot by a police officer during a police traffic check. Before I go any further, I’m not attempting to make light of the situation or pick a side. I’ve done my best to understand it by reading articles like this one, another, and this one. Beyond reading, I’ve tried to watch a bit from the TV, however, my French isn’t that great, so things can get lost in translation. 

Living in the US, I’ve seen this rage before from the protests and riots of countless innocent people killed by police. While the language differs, the emotions are the same. The same anger and frustration. Same mothers crying over lost sons, daughters. Fathers who can no longer hug their children again for unlawful reasons. It’s painful. 

While walking in Nantes, a city not often listed as one which hosts riots, I saw a mural. The news constantly focuses on the fear and the destruction people leave behind when they protest or riot. Never is there much discussion about the art left behind. Murals, paintings, songs, art. Individuals using forums to express their opinion. Right, wrong. I wanted to share the photos from the mural I saw the other day that stopped me in my tracks. I am unsure of the artist, and if you know – please email me at I’d happily give credit. 

The scene paints chaos. Chaos from an incident. Chaos by demons dressed as police. Three figures cloaked seeing the world for what it is – unjustified. I see it.

Hopefully, you do too. 

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