Senegal's graffiti artists join fight against coronavirus

DAKAR (Reuters) - The mural stretched over 10 metres of wall in Senegal's seaside capital Dakar shows a giant pair of hands reaching out for sanitiser, and a woman in hoop earrings and a facemask coloured blue, red, gold and green. It is the work of RBS CREW, a collective of graffiti artists who have offered up their spray cans in the cause of public health. Black and yellow block letters spell out the message 'Together against COVID-19,' referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Reuters March 30, 2020 00:12:05 IST
Senegal's graffiti artists join fight against coronavirus

Senegals graffiti artists join fight against coronavirus

DAKAR (Reuters) - The mural stretched over 10 metres of wall in Senegal's seaside capital Dakar shows a giant pair of hands reaching out for sanitiser, and a woman in hoop earrings and a facemask coloured blue, red, gold and green.

It is the work of RBS CREW, a collective of graffiti artists who have offered up their spray cans in the cause of public health.

Black and yellow block letters spell out the message "Together against COVID-19," referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"A big thank you to the caregivers," reads another message scrawled out like a graffiti tag, next to the government's health hotline on the high school wall.

"As Senegalese we have a duty, a responsibility to raise awareness," said Serigne Mansour Fall, the 33-year-old head of the collective who goes by the name "Mad Zoo".

"Especially as the majority of the population is illiterate, as artists, we can communicate through visuals," said Fall, whose past work has focused more on Dakar street life and Malcolm X.

Senegal had reported 119 cases and no deaths as of Friday. Figures reported across Africa are still relatively small compared with parts of Asia and Europe, but the World Health Organization has warned the continent's window to act is narrowing.

That, said Fall, makes it even more important to encourage prevention measures and head off false information, including one online rumour that only white people can catch the disease.

Other murals painted around Dakar by the collective show people washing their hands with soap and water and sneezing into their elbows.

Each year for the past decade, Dakar has also hosted the Festigraff festival, which bills itself as the leading graffiti festival in Africa and attracts artists from around the world.

RBS CREW was set up in 2012 with the goal, according to its website, of making messages ring out "like blasts of gunfire".

(Reporting by Estelle Ndjandjo and Christophe Van Der Perre; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Aaron Ross and Andrew Heavens)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.