Cities of Hope festival is to be held in Manchester from 21-29th May 2016 by Vestige, a not for profit social justice organisation, that uses the Arts to inspire action on the social issues that define our time and support the work of agencies that champion these. Developed in Manchester, England, they deliver activities in cities across the world working alongside internationally renowned artists.
“From its beginning, Street Art has championed the oppressed, standing defiant in the face of injustice as the voice of the powerless. Street Artists are beacons of hope, champions of the struggles that many would rather ignore.” Cities of Hope
The COH Festival is designed to amplify the messages of nine leading street artists from across the globe. Artists produce an inspirational mural on a cause that resonates with their own values. These nine murals form a street gallery of Hope across Manchester’s Northern Quarter helping amplify the values of the people of the city.
Each mural is matched to a local grassroots organisation through which they raise awareness of and champion the work of nine social justice agencies that operate in the city.
Through the project COH will raise money, but more importantly will give the organisation a platform and amplify their voice in a way that hasn’t been done before.
The nine artists invited to Cities of Hope Festival, Manchester are: Case, Axel Void, C215, Faith47, Hyuro, Whatson, Nevercrew, Phelgm and artist duo PichiAvo.
Case’s social justice issue is disability. Axel Void’s social justice issue is existentialism which means working with charities that work with people with Mental Health or Anxiety issues, C215’s social justice issue is homelessness. C215 will travel up before the festival and meet up with Manchester’s homeless, which has risen by 50% in recent times. Faith 47’s social justice issue is gay rights. Hyuro’s social justice issue is war children. Martin Whatson’s social justice issue is the environment. NeverCrew’s social justice issue is immigration, integration and supporting refugees. Phlegm’s social justice issue is sustainability tackling the Social Issue of sustainability, which ties in perfectly with his work on forgot places, often left in a state of ruin. Pichiavo’s social justice issue is conflict. Viewers can expect a heady concoction of ancient and modern that remixes the classics from art’s illustrious history.
The murals for COH will have powerful messages behind them, and that is the ethos of the festival. COH do not want street art to become meaningless. Axel Void demonstrated this for his mural in Miami recently when he painted ‘MEANINGLESS’ on his wall.
“I think street art has always been a very powerful tool to voice the word of the people, without the elitist filter of the contemporary art scene. But somehow it blended in with propaganda and the fashion industry.” Axel Void
Check back at a later date for more news about these 9 artists, over 9 days, painting 9 murals for 9 charities sending out 9 beacons of HOPE.