Street Art and George Floyd—a new multimedia project from the GAI

Throughout the world, people continue to react to the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. From taking to the streets in protest, to re-examining long-held beliefs about racism and systems of justice, a global movement is calling for social justice and equality. Street art has played an important role in this movement—as an outlet for citizens to express their grief, outrage, and hope about the future. This street art has been created on the sides of local businesses, street corners, plywood covering broken windows, and more, from neighborhoods in Minneapolis to countries around the world.  

Recently, our team at the Germanic-American Institute connected with the local scholars and students at St. Thomas University who created the Urban Art Mapping George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art database. This database serves as an important resource for communities and scholars around the street art—locally and internationally—and the issues it explores. From breathtaking murals created by teams of professional artists to poignant graffiti, this collection captures the breadth of street art that has been created in response to this moment.  

Online gallery: This gallery represents a selection of street art from the database with works by local street artists and community members in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. GAI street art gallery
Full street art database

Podcast: Our latest episode of the GAI’s podcast, Hier & There, features an interview with Dr. Todd Lawrence, one of the curators of the Urban Art Mapping George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art database.

Video: Visit the GAI’s YouTube channel for a video introduction to the street art database and recent developments in street art around the world.  

About the project: 
The GAI’s multimedia street art project was inspired by the Goethe-Institut’s #ARTBITS blog, a photo collection and series of articles about street art discoveries and artists in cities throughout Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. As a Goethe-Institut Kulturgesellschaft the GAI has been a close collaborating partner of the Goethe-Institut on a wide array of educational and cultural programs. 

About the curators:


Dr. Todd Lawrence
University of St. Thomas
Dr. Todd Lawrence teaches African-American literature and culture, folklore studies, and cultural studies. His research and teaching areas include the Black Arts Movement, James Baldwin, racial passing, black speculative writing, and ethnographic writing. Dr. Lawrence's work straddles a number of areas, but generally sits at the intersection of identity, narrative, community, and culture


Dr. Heather Shirey
University of St. Thomas

Dr. Heather Shirey’s research and teaching are shaped by the idea that as art historians and citizens of the world, we must all engage deeply and analytically with visual culture, both in the classroom and in our everyday lives. Her teaching and research are focused on the African Diaspora in Brazil, the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States. Dr. Shirey also has a strong interest in the history of photography and the development of street art. 
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