By Lisa Robinson

A few weeks ago, while en route to London, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that a mural celebrating activists WITNESS’ worked with through the years was in production by none other than long-time partners and friends of WITNESS, Pentagram. (See more about our longtime relationship with Pentagram partner Harry Pearce in this blog post.)

While I was there on personal holiday, I was traveling with former WITNESS colleagues. Equally excited to see what was in store and post-red eye flight, we made our way to the Shoreditch Art Wall.

I looked at the email and needed to ask for a ‘Sean’ once I arrived at the site. My dear friend (and former WITNESS colleague) yelled, “Sean? We’re looking for Sean Chilvers! I’ve never met Sean!” Roughly at the same time we made that connection, I hear, “I’m Sean.” We made our introductions and long-time collaborators were connected again.

Human Rights Channel by WITNESS and Storyful
Human Rights Channel logo design by Pentagram

My travel companion had worked with Sean from Pentagram for five years while she was at WITNESS, yet they had never met one another. Working in close collaboration with Harry Pearce, Sean and others on Harry’s team designed many of the materials our supporters have come to know and recognize through our work (e.g. The Human Rights Channel).

As the mural was about halfway finished and the artists were painting away, Sean gave us a tour of the mural, “Louisa and Stephanie are working on Ashley (TRUST campaign), and there’s Antonieta from the Brazil campaigns. Danny finished his piece yesterday, he was really fast.”

For me, street art has always been a powerful form of expression and commentary for the communities they represent – especially when it comes to political and social unrest. That day was an inspiring reminder that in a truly global and connected world, there are countless “witnesses” working behind the scenes on behalf of WITNESS – exposing our work to new audiences.

It was a beautiful moment across the Atlantic and I’m sure glad the stars aligned, allowing me to experience it.

Browse this gallery to learn more about the activists featured on the mural:

Street Artists and Pentagram discuss mural on Storify:

Photo of the Shoreditch Art Wall mural for WITNESS, courtesy Lisa Robinson
 
Lisa Robinson is the External Relations Coordinator at WITNESS. 

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