Murals Talk Back: An Understanding of Community Murals in Jane Finch
Ramsaroop, Talisha Amanda
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This thesis is based on a study of three community murals in Jane Finch, a densely populated, racially diverse, inner-city neighborhood in the northwest quadrant of Toronto, Ontario. Within Jane Finch, there are several mural projects scattered throughout various public spaces including commercial buildings, community centers, and spaces used by youth organizations. Through a series of qualitative, semi-structured interviews with residents and artists who were involved in their creation, this study extends the focus from the images on the walls to the relationship between community members and the murals. The findings show that the murals represent a form of community empowerment, both through their messages of solidarity and resistance and the collaborative creation process. I argue that community murals function as a form of free space that foster educational and critical discourses and provide residents with a sense of belonging and pride.