“There are layers. Behind each photo – each image – there’s a story.” – JR
JR, a French street artist and the winner of a prestigious TED award in March 2011 recently gave a TED Talk on the power of street art in ushering in social and political change. JR creates photo-pasted murals in war-torn and ethnically violent communities to share the basic tenant of the contact hypothesis, which theorizes that: controlled communication between conflictual groups will force both sides to recognize aspects of themselves in the other, thus reducing unsupported prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, and violence.
JR’s enormous works of public art in Israel/ Palestine, Brazil, Sudan, Liberia, Kenya, and elsewhere force viewers to recognize the social ills, victims, and unexpected similarities within their communities.
Check out JR’s political street art project at: insideoutproject.net.