Wednesday, August 22, 2007

RE: Mural on 24th & Capp

Ellen Shershow:
Jill Manton:

Public Art Program, SF Arts Commission
25 Van Ness Ave, Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear SF Arts Commission,

I am writing to express my support of the mural on 24th and Capp in its entirety, including the positive images of Palestinian liberation struggles. I applaud the SF Arts Commission for their encouragement of self-expression and youth leadership development, and want to ensure that the Commission continues to allow for and insist on the artistic freedom of the HOMEY artists.

This mural represents the united struggles of people of color in the Mission, including the Palestinian and Arab community working with, living amongst, and supporting the young people of this neighborhood. The mural depicts self-determination for all and breaking down barriers as major themes. Just as residents of the Mission are fighting displacement locally and walls separating them from their homelands, so too are Palestinians.

As artists, you know the importance of freedom of creativity and the right to express strongly your beliefs and experiences. The muralist tradition has always been rooted in its depiction of popular history and struggle as experienced by the artist and the community the mural is being made in. To censor this narrative dismisses the central function, purpose, and power of the medium and the communities it speaks to. I hope this mural can not only visually represent self-determination, but also embody the self-determination of young artists and Mission residents through your help maintaining the integrity of the mural and the traditions and lived experiences which have inspired it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Zahra Billoo


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