When Fulton Street, the heart and soul of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, was covered from sidewalk-to-sidewalk with a Black Lives Matter Mural, it was a statement no one could ignore. But then something unexpected happened. The Mural was turned into a gathering space. A safe area for the people of Bed-Stuy to congregate - dance, sing, talk, learn, and meditate - a space to build community.
“The BLM Mural became a space of community, unity, and love. We repurposed it to fill the void of open space in Bed-Stuy and used it as a hub to provide information, entertainment, wellness and a host of other services to support the community, in addition to supporting our youth, seniors and small businesses,” said Monique Antoine, a community organizer for the Mural. “Anyone who experienced it will never forget it and I’m happy to have brought joy to so many during a time where we so desperately needed it. I do not want to return to a Bed-Stuy without the Mural.”
This docu-style piece produced by Mustache tells the story of how artists, organizers, and neighbors all came together to reclaim their streets.
In the early days of the project, Ty West, Bed-Stuy resident and designer at Mustache, was on the ground shooting footage of the Mural being painted and the culture that was emerging alongside of it.
“With each day, the culture around the Mural blossomed and spirit multiplied. It was amazing to see and an honor to capture,” said Ty West. “I remember reflecting with the Mural’s artists on the black community, commenting on our desire and ability to create pockets of joy, unity, love regardless of the circumstance - and that's real. It was exemplified by the Mural's culture and the people of Bed-Stuy. I may not be from Brooklyn, but I feel proud to be here to fight for that culture today.”