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ARGENTINA | 06-03-2022 17:58

New peace mural in Buenos Aires draws attention

A new anti-war mural, featuring images of a woman wounded after a bombing in Ukraine and the iconic figure of a naked girl fleeing from napalm in Vietnam in 1972, is drawing attention in Buenos Aires.

A new anti-war mural, featuring images of a woman wounded after a bombing in Ukraine and the iconic figure of a naked girl fleeing from napalm in Vietnam in 1972, is drawing attention in Buenos Aires.

The 'No to war' artwork by Argentine artist Maximiliano Bagnasco appeared recently and has gained the support of many in the capital.

The mural is based on two images. The first, taken by AFP photographer Aris Messinis captures a Ukrainian woman's wounded face. She is covered in bandages and stares blankly ahead in the image, taken February 24 after the bombing of the Ukrainian city of Chuguiv. The portrait of the 53-year-old teacher, named Helena, taken outside a hospital, has become a symbol of the ongoing conflict.

Bagnasco recreated the photograph with spray paint. To the right, he decided to include a black and white reproduction of the famous photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuc: the nine-year-old girl who was captured running naked alongside other children burned by napalm in Vietnam.

'No to war' reads the only inscription on this five-by-three-metre work that stands on a façade in the Palermo neighbourhood.

The images starkly reveal the human cost of wars and seek to nurture anti-war sentiment as well as being a call for peace, according to the author.

"This photo of Aris was one of the first images that were reaching us from this war of wounded civilians and we were realising what happens in war and how many people end up wounded or dead who don't have to pay for it," Bagnasco told AFP, explaining why he chose it for his mural. "It is the most representative of this war."

His work has no direct reference to Ukraine, he explained.

"People associate it directly with war and it conveys what I want to communicate and then I put another image of the Vietnam War to say that I don't agree with any war. The message is no to war, any kind of war," he said.

Bagnasco took the initiative after receiving a request from Ukraine via social media.

"They wrote to me from Ukraine and asked me to do it," said Bagnasco, who last October travelled to Russia to paint a mural there in homage to the work War and Peace by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy.

In any case, he stresses that the mural "is a message against war and not in favour of any country."

"What I want to communicate is what the people of Russia and other countries told me: we don't want war," he said.

 

– AFP

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