Artist turns a piece of racist graffiti into something a lot more positive

Greg Evans
Thursday 29 November 2018 14:00
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Picture:(Chris Walker/ Twitter)

Racism of any kind is appalling and completely indefensible.

In the past two years in the US and the UK, we've noticed an unprecedented rise in racist incidents - some of which are based around people getting irate about others not talking English.

Considering that it's the 21st century and we live in a rich and culturally diverse society, this archaic take on language is completely bemusing and illogical.

Yet it persists, as evident by a recent act of vandalism in Walthamstow, north London, where a 'cultured' person thought it was appropriate to detail what was the predominant language that was spoken in the area.

However, local artist Chris Walker wasn't going to stand for this and decided to finish off the 'masterpiece' himself, via Photoshop.

After Walker shared his perfect takedown of the graffiti on Twitter is began to attract a lot of positive attention and praise.

There was a small typo in the work, but we can blame the Walthamstow Forest website for that.

This was done in response to a string of racist graffiti that had popped up in the area and was retweeted by local Labour MP Stella Creasy.

Speaking to indy100, Chris told us a little bit about how his small protest came about.

I saw it via a tweet from Stella Creasy. My first response was 'how vile'.

Whoever was responsible clearly has no idea where they are living, I was born in Walthamstow and have lived here on and off for 40 years, it has always been a vastly multicultural community and that's what makes it so great.

I saw they'd left me quite a bit of space around their 'artwork' so I thought I'd fill in the blanks.

As demonstrated by the above tweets there have been a string on similar incidents, all reportedly by the same culprit but judging by the response on Twitter, this isn't indicative of the residents of the area.

I seem to have captured some spirit! Some people thought it was real though, so I've had a few grumbles from those who didn't realise it was a photoshop job.

I can't please everyone, so I had a lot of requests for all the languages I've missed out!

Also, apologies for the misspelling of 'Punjabi', but you can blame the Waltham Forest website for that as it was a cut and paste from that site.

Although this is only a small response to racism, Chris hopes that the good spirits that is has inspired can reassure people from other cultures that Walthamstow is a welcoming place to live.

I'm not sure my little protest can stop things like this happening, but the response to it has, I hoped, brought the community together in speaking out and served to reassure that this is a minority view and that everyone is welcome in E17 and always will be.

Chris is a digital designer, digital art-worker and multidisciplinary illustrator living and working in London.

He has also illustrated two children's books about Walthamstow titled 'Yellow Man - A Walthamstory' and 'ABCDE17.'

You can view more of his work on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and his own personal website.

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