A concrete wall in Bondi Beach has been transformed by street artists as part of a worldwide campaign to draw attention to the plight of an oppressed minority group in Iran.
Beachgoers seeking sun and sand at the popular beach will find a bright new piece of street art, the latest mural in a series for the #notacrime movement.
The initiative hopes to draw attention to the injustices faced by Baha’is, Iran’s largest religious minority, in particular the lack of access to tertiary education faced by the group.
Bondi Beach’s The Sea Wall, by street artists Giles Fryer, Scott Nagy and Janne Birkner, promotes the group’s right to education and freedom of expression.
Fryer said the artwork was a collaborative effort that the trio hoped would connect with young people. External Link: Making of the mural
“The way we created the concept design … the three of us came together with individual sketches and we wanted to convey the meaning of freedom of imagination, so what underlies freedom of education and the right to freedom of expression,” he said.
“We thought that was quite a difficult thing to capture artistically but something that’s important because ultimately through this mural we want to convey a positive message.
“We want to talk about what are very serious issues of persecution of the Baha’i community but we want to do it in a way that leaves the viewer with a positive and affirmative message that they want to take action eventually or at least it leaves them with the memory of what it’s all about.
“This is looking to mobilise and engage young people, all sorts of different demographics and doing it through art is … a meaningful way to do that.”
Venus Khalessi, spokesperson for the Australian Baha’i community, said the Bondi creation added a third Sydney offering to the movement, which has transformed parts of New York, London, Brazil and South Africa.
“The beautiful art works in these large scale public mural projects draw attention to the fact that Baha’is in Iran have been denied university education for more than 30 years,” she said.
“The Baha’is there responded by creating an informal education process, but now even the educators involved are being imprisoned.”
Sydneysiders can check out other campaign artworks in King Street at Newtown and Applebee Street in St Peters.