Mumbai: This Independence Day, street artist to create Walk of Shame

Updated: 11 August, 2020 07:44 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Artist asks people to submit names of the most shameful on Instagram, those with most votes to have their names painted on a street

Street art created by Tyler. Pic courtesy/Street Artist Tyler
Street art created by Tyler. Pic courtesy/Street Artist Tyler

City-based street artist who goes by the name Tyler, known for creating art on anti-fascist themes and anti-authoritarian symbolism on Mumbai's battered old walls announced on Monday that he will be creating a Walk of Shame on this Independence Day with the "the names of the most shameless figures across industries like Journalism, Bollywood, Politics etc will be painted on a street in Mumbai".

The announcement came on his Instagram page @tylerstreetart. Tyler said the idea for such public shaming came to him around four years ago. "This wave for liberty did not happen overnight, it has been a gradual process," he told mid-day. "When I was growing up, people didn't take much interest in politics. This has changed over time. It was only after the CAA-NRC protests last year that people went full throttle with their views and opinions. Jokes on political or public figures were not as common as they are now."

The template created by Tyler for the Walk of Shame. Pic courtesy/Stret Artist Tyler
The template created by Tyler for the Walk of Shame. Pic courtesy/Stret Artist Tyler

Tyler has asked people to comment the names of those who they think deserve to be on the Walk of Shame. Tho most recurring names will be put up for voting close to Independence Day to select the winning candidate in the 'most shameless' category. This 'first' name will be painted on a street decided by Tyler.

Tyler's post further read, "These public figures were well-liked and celebrated for their work. We have looked up to them, supported them, and even believed in them to do the right thing. However, they have become mouthpieces for political parties and have been instrumental in spreading propaganda that causes widespread destruction, violence and stupidity."

For the public, by the public
The post termed the exercise as a "public led initiative" that is "purely in the interest of the people."

Tyler says that the aim is to have a list of 25 such 'most shameless' people and create a 500-metre long Walk of Shame. He also plans to make the template for his artwork public so that the movement can go hyperlocal. "If someone in a different state has a problem for example with their local councillor, they can simply download the template of my art and use it to call them out," he said.

For now, the two names that stand out in the comments are of actor Akshay Kumar and TV news anchor Arnab Goswami. "If you believe yourself to be a leader or an icon, then you need to call out the ruling government's incorrect policies, instead of defending their agenda," Tyler said.

Taking back the power
Tyler said that the historically symbiotic relationship between stars and politicians does more harm than good. "If a celebrity is coming on video every time to defend the policies of the ruling party, then it definitely raises some eyebrows because it creates a pattern. They get paid handsomely and it is the common janta which bears the brunt of it. And this janta needs a voice. This exercise (in public shaming) is purely to get people to come together and call out these people on an open platform by physically painting their names on a street. I am hoping this becomes like the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. That is how I see it."

He added: "People might view this as a prank or an initiative depending on which side of the spectrum they are on, but there is no larger than life motive behind it I simply feel it's high time such bullsh*t gets called out."

Tyler concluded by saying that he chose his words carefully in the Instagram post. "I have not written 'government' anywhere, but instead, have used the word 'political party.' The problems are not the government's fault, they are the respective ruling party's fault."

500m
Length of the stretch on which the Walk of Shame will be created

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First Published: 11 August, 2020 07:23 IST

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