The first green mural paying homage to the LGBT+ movement was inaugurated in Rome on a large wall courtesy of the Armellini State Industrial Technical Institute (ITIS) in Largo Beato Placido Riccardi, San Paolo district (Rome).
The project, strongly desired and supported by the Dutch Embassy in Italy, was curated by Yourban 2030 in collaboration with the Circolo Mario Mieli with the patronage of the Municipality VIII of Rome.
The 250-square-meter work, the largest green mural in Europe, was created by the Dutch street artist JDL and is a new monument for Rome. The first in a series of walls of all murals and monuments, tributes, and works of art in the open air are made with smog-eating paint. A hymn to love and the right to happiness is at the same time color and urban regeneration, restyling creativity of the city and sending a message capable of transforming a white wall into a work of art accessible to all.
The project leader is Yourban2030, the Italian non-profit led by Veronica De Angelis who has already given Hunting Pollution in Rome in the Ostiense district.
In 1921, there was the First Congress for Sex Reform, which laid the groundwork for the founding of the World League for Sex Reform. Ninety-nine years later, Outside In, by Dutch street artist JDL, arrived in Rome as the first green mural with an LGBT+ theme born from the collaboration between Italy, the United States, and the Netherlands to bring the story of a century of conquests and battles for the right to happiness.
A wall for everyone: because no wall breaks down by itself
“My work represents a man and a woman who overlap and are reflected in the mirror – one is the other and the other is one in an encounter of love, in a movement of universal acceptance,” explained JDL, who signed the mural with his unmistakable stylistic signature in black and white, almost photographic and lyrical.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. Nobody should be rejected or made unhappy about it. What we need to create is a law on civil unions,” the artist said.
This revolutionary phrase was uttered by the head of the Catholic community, Pope Francis, in the documentary by the Russian director, Evgeny Afineevsky, “Francis.”
“What the movement has shown since 1921 and then through 1969 – the Stonewall riots – and the foundation of the Homomonumentary in Amsterdam and so on, is that, like a colored domino, the freedom of one the freedom of all is declared Veronica De Angelis, President of Yourban2030 and project leader, a young Roman entrepreneur with a degree in political science who has decided to personally invest in sustainability.
“The struggles, the demonstrations, every single achievement that the LGBT community has achieved, has achieved it for everyone – the freedom to love and be who we are. ‘Outside In’ is a hymn to freedom which, starting from the legacy of the movement, demonstrates its greatness: a path of collective liberation to which we all owe something, not only gays, lesbians, trans, etc., but also straight, white, black – all of us, without exception. It is a mural.”
“The mural depicts a woman who looks in the mirror and sees a man in his reflection,” explained artist JDL. “I often use my art to translate emotions into visions that connect to social issues. This time I felt honored to have been involved in thinking about a work dedicated to gender identity in Rome.
“Before the execution of the wall, I interviewed a couple of people from the LGBT + community. One of them was a transgender from Amsterdam. He told me about the deep struggles he had to go through to feel at home in his own body. ‘Emotionally and physically it was a real battle for many years,’ he said.
“My aim was to translate and ‘explode’ this emotion using the mural – the struggles to accept who you are. The idea was to create an emotional understanding towards this target group, and hopefully this wall is a reminder to accept who you (or your loved ones) really are.”
“Outside In,” declared Frank Ferrante, co-founder Yourban2030 United States, “the mission born in Stonewall continues, together with that of protecting the environment according to the indications of the 2030 Agenda. It is a work of art destined to grow awareness and nurture everyone’s hope and pride. This is Outside In: a Monument for all, a new meeting and sharing place, where a universal message of Love and Pride is celebrated.”
Two years after Hunting Pollution, Yourban2030, founded by Veronica De Angelis with project manager Maura Crudeli, returned with an international ethical consortium for a work of 250 square meters of smog-eating paint dedicated to La Karl Du Pigné – character icon of the movement, which today makes it a shared symbol of the right to happiness, the right to affectivity.
With Outside In, freedom goes hand in hand with protecting the environment. The 250 square meters of smog-eating Airlite paint with which the green mural is created, neutralizes the smog of 53 petrol-run cars euro 6 and 40 cars diesel euro 6 per day. It is a new green heart on the outskirts of Rome in the form of a green mural.
“We strongly wanted this wall dedicated to the late Karl, Andrea Berardicurti, a historical pillar for the Circolo Mario Mieli and for the entire LGBT + community,” declared Valerio Cola-masi Battaglia, President of the Circolo Mario Mieli.
“Our community has always struggled to break down the walls of prejudice, and this time we have decided to support and embrace the Yourban 2030 project to transform a wall into a symbol of freedom, acceptance, and love for oneself. We are even happier, because it will be in our district of San Paolo on the wall of the Armellini Technical Institute. Let’s start again from the territory and from future generations to build landscapes of solidarity, love, and respect.”
“When Yourban 2030 contacted the embassy we were thrilled,” said Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands, Dewi van de Weerd. “We are happy with the collaboration and the result, also because the creation of the Dutch artist JDL serves three good causes. It is a tribute to 50 years of LGBT struggle. Finally, he transformed a bare wall into a public work of art accessible to all.”
“Being able to carry out this work by combining the experience of Mieli, the fundamental role within our community of places of education and culture, such as the Armellini Institute and finally, the professionalism and above all the ability to practicing innovation combined with respect for the environment of Yourban 2030, is a connection that we have taken care of as a Municipality with attention and with absolute obstinacy, and we are happy to have reached an extraordinary result such as the one inaugurated today,” declared the President of the Rome VIII municipality, Amedeo Ciaccheri.
Patented in over 50 countries with 19 international certifications, Airlite is a technology incorporated in a mineral paint in a completely natural way, therefore, without resorting to chemical substances or biocides. Thanks to the energy of light and the presence of humidity in the air, it creates a barrier of oxidants that decompose harmful organic substances, transforming them into harmless substances. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties also combine the ability to reduce toxic pollutants in the air, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde – characteristics so unique that in 2019 the United Nations officially indicated Airlite as one of the 4 innovations that can make the difference in the fight against the planet’s air pollution.
Ms. Veronica De Angelis anticipated that similar events will take place in the city of Bologna and Milan in early 2021.