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Philly Street Artists Would Like to Remind You We Have Prison Camps at the Border

January 21, 2020

On a recent and relatively short walk through South Philly, I came across not one but two different street art installations by two different Philly artists that both aim to call our attentions to the fact that we have prison camps at the southern border. One, the yarnbomb photographed above, by Ishknits at 15th Street and Washington Avenue. The other, the wheatpaste photographed below, by Hysterical Men at Broad Street at Fitzwater Streets.

This is the world we live in.

And zooming out a bit: you all know how I feel about outdoor advertising, I mean I wrote a whole op-ed about it for the Philadelphia Inquirer last year. For me, it’s all about what value we offer ourselves in our own public space. Walking around the city you can learn many important things like “Barbera cares” (really, though?) and someone apparently “hates Steven Singer” (cool). Advertising in our public space ultimately offers us very little, but art can make us smile, make us think, and in the case of the installations documented for this post, work to hold us accountable as a society. Between ads and art using our public space, I think there’s way more value in the latter.

See past installations by Ishknits around Philly here, and by Hysterical Men here!

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