There’s a little bit of us all in this painting. Visually fusing hip-hop with hybrid cultural experiences, the latest project by Word To Your Motherland is a brilliant collaborative mural between street artists and youth in Vancouver.

word to your motherland nisha k sembi mandeep sethi north vancouver mural

Vancouver and California based street artists Nisha K. Sembi, Miguel “Bounce” Perez, Take5, and Corey Bulpitt worked with North Shore shelter residents and local youth to design and paint this beautiful 100 feet wide mural called “Word To Your Motherland.”

Mandeep Sethi, co-founder of Word to Your Motherland and a hip-hop artist (see him in our interview with Black Mahal), sums up everything you need to know about this magnificent project:

“Word to Your Motherland is all about reconnecting with our cultural ancestry, reconnecting with who we are not only as individuals but as a peoples, not only a peoples from one place in the world, but the entire human family. We’re taking it back to the days when all the lands were connected and even further than that. And it’s really not about saying ‘we’re one world’ or ‘we’re one people’ and everything is peace. No, it’s actually about starting a conversation that is a little bit more difficult than that. It is a conversation about, I am who I am, and you are who you are, and how are we going to coexist, how are we going to use our differences as strengths, and use the ways in which we view the world differently as points of unity, and how are we going to change our perspective on the ways in which we can participate in a society. This is especially important here in North America, Turtle Island, where we have been taught for so long that we have to buy, we have to sell, we have to consume, and we have to be a part of a monetary cycle. I think that this mural and this experience has really reinforced with me, and maybe some of the other people in this room, that life is not a monetary cycle, life is a spiritual cycle.”

 

Word.

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Mandeep Sethi addresses the crowd before the entire mural is unveiled
Mandeep Sethi addresses the crowd before the entire mural is unveiled
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Hip-hop artist Mandeep Sethi and visual artist Nisha Sembi
Hip-hop artist Mandeep Sethi and visual artist Nisha Sembi

 

The Word To Your Motherland mural is located on the west side of the North Shore Lookout Shelter at 705 2nd Street West in North Vancouver. Learn more about the project.

 

Photography: Naveen Girn