by Sophia Greenblatt
Typically, slums are overcrowded and there is a lack of housing. People living in slums often experience malnourishment and illiteracy, and are frequently exposed to gun violence, contaminated water and AIDS. Those residing in slums feel isolated from everyone else in the world, says artist Seb Toussaint. The public perceives slums as threatening locations, and many people try to stay away from them. In addition, slums often do not get the recognition and help that they need. The Outsiders Krew is an organization that aims to spread awareness about slums and the people who live there. According to UN-Habitat, one billion people live in slum conditions.
The Outsiders Krew is on a mission to prevent those living in slums and other insignificant communities to be discriminated against. The Outsiders Krew creates cool outdoor art exhibits, providing both an attractive environment in the slums and giving the residents a sense of entitlement. The Outsiders Krew’s mission, “Share the Word,” is trying to transform slums so people can learn about the communities there.
The Outsiders Krew normally stays in a community for four weeks. The Outsiders Krew has already painted 100 murals in 8 countries! A big slum in Kathmandu, for example, has murals painted with inspirational words like “change” and “welcome.” These murals are particularly special because they are still standing even after a tragic earthquake in 2015. The most recent project that the Outsiders Krew is working on is in the Calais “Jungle” in France. This project helps inspire refugees who are escaping war in their homelands.
The painters of the Outsiders Krew enjoy their project, as they find that it is “a great opportunity for us, as young artists and young adults to learn about the world, about ourselves and about different cultures. The people from these communities have taught us a lot, often without realizing it.” We agree and applaud this very important mission of the Outsiders Krew. We hope for your continued success in transforming slums and helping the people who live there.