The “Healing Walls” of Philadelphia
After receiving numerous enquires from the borough, the urban “Philadelphia Mural Arts Program” started preparing a mural which was to pick up on the aftermath of the
violence in Germantown in the middle of 2003. The organisation which stems from an anti-graffiti initiative has brightened up Philadelphia’s facades for 20 years. Locals
of the district in Germantown, neighbours, shop owners, active members of the parish,
but also many victims of crime got together. With the help of the prison warden
the former initiative became a team whose members consisted of inmates and victims of crime for the first time.
The “Murals” in Germantown Avenue were designed in prison by both the locals of the district and inmates. ’Murals’ are more than a pleasantly painted wall.
They actually speak to people, provoking discussions and acting as a catalyst.
One can almost virtually feel the influence it has had on people. All the people, who helped out in the development of the murals, are proud of their work, which everyone can see.
For some of them their participation has been the first step to feeling a positive part of society again.
More than 2500 Murals, varying from the size of a garage door to monumental murals up to eight storeys high, are scattered throughout
the urban areas of Philadelphia.