BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
TWENTY young artists in Honiara underwent training on graffiti as part of the ‘Side by Side’ campaign for gender equality and ending violence against women and girls in Solomon Islands.
This is a new project designed by Oxfam International Solomon Islands in partnership with local civil society organisations and youths.
The concept is to use street art as a form of advocacy to put to end violence against women and girls.
The project aims to introduce young people to new and creative methods to advocate for the change they want to see in their communities.
Last week, the campaign team welcomed Justin aka ‘Julla’ a professional graffiti writer and street artist from the Back Alley Gallery in Australia to train 20 young artists in Honiara.
Julla is the first of two international street artists, and next month, the Side by Side team will receive another female renowned artist in Australia to Solomon Islands.
So far, two groups of ten dominated by male artists have already gone through two trainings on advocacy and technical skills.
Next weekend they will go through another series of trainings.
End of the month, the group will be painting a large public mural at White River to promote the Side by Side campaign with key messages of gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.
Julla said he tries to inspire local artists with his knowledge and skills through graffiti and the message will be on ending violence against women and girls here.
He adds, his presence in Honiara is a collaboration with Side by Side project to train local artists and show them how to use paints from Australia – can’t be found here.
With the past trainings, Julla said local artists are amazing, talented and are quick to pick up ideas, knowledge and skills straight away.
Local young artists said they are excited to learn from the professional artist especially in the area of graffiti which will be useful for their advocacy campaign.
They said such knowledge and skills is important for them to portray messages of their interest in public places.
The young artists wish our country allows any space in the city for them to share their issue through graffiti.