A Palestinian-American Artist has taken Instagram by storm
Since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the US last week, protests and riots have brought the world's attention to the #BlackLivesMatter movement which has now also dominated the online world and social media.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died during arrest by police officers, one of whom had his knee placed on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, a restraint tactic banned by most police forces.
The outpouring of love and support from the online community has truly been touching and most have taken to social media to demand justice in the wake of this tragedy.
Chances are you've come across the poignant artwork created by Shirien Damra, a Chicago based artist of Palestinian heritage.
Shirien's artwork, a beautiful illustration of George with a wreath of bright flowers around him, has gone viral on Instagram and has racked up over 3 million likes on the platform in just over a week's time.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday, in yet another act of anti-black police violence causing mass outrage, George Floyd yelled “I can’t breathe” and pleaded for his life as a white Minneapolis police officer violently pinned him down with his knee on his neck. George died after. He was murdered in broad daylight. His death is reminiscent of the death of Eric Garner. Even with a crowd yelling at him to stop and while folks filmed the murder, the cop did it anyway, showing the massive injustice, zero accountability and white supremacy embedded in the “criminal justice” system. Heartbroken, angry and disgusted. This must end. Much love and solidarity to Black communities grieving another beautiful life lost. May George Floyd Rest in Power. Text ‘Floyd’ to 55156 to demand the officers be charged with murder. You can also call Mayor Jacob Frey at (612)-673-2100, DA Mike Freeman at (612)-348-5550 and demand justice. #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #icantbreathe #justiceforgeorgefloyd
In the caption, she wrote, "Heartbroken, angry and disgusted. This must end. Much love and solidarity to Black communities grieving another beautiful life lost. May George Floyd Rest in Power."
This isn't the first time Shirien has stood in solidarity with those experiencing injustice.
Following video footage emerging of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery while out jogging by a father and son in Georgia, she also expressed her support through artwork.
View this post on Instagram
Today, a disturbing video surfaced of the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. Ahmaud was murdered over two months ago in Georgia when he was chased and gunned down by two white men claiming they were conducting a citizen’s arrest for a burglary. Ahmaud was simply just going for a run. I haven’t seen the video because I can’t get myself to. Just hearing the story of his murder brought me to tears. Tears of anger and sadness. No one deserves to be killed for running on the basis of their skin color. May Ahmaud rest in power. May he and his loved ones see justice somehow. Say his name. #ahmaudarbery #irunwithmaud #justiceforahmaud #blacklivesmatter
Artwork and the power of social media have proven to be extremely effective in raising global awareness as the #BlackLivesMatter movement has now taken over internationally.
The world is on a standstill and EVERYONE is watching as we await justice and change on a large scale. Even companies such as Nike and Netflix have called out for change and overall reform via their social media platforms.
The power of art should not be doubted as it enables us to process the trauma and actively engage with our emotions to ultimately create something positive.
Do you think that more artists should come together in support of this movement?
Let us know in the comments below!