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Murals (Wall paintings)

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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Murals and other artwork can be used to promote the campaign message. It is advised to work closely with the artist when developing drafts and, just as with posters, pre-test and adjust as needed. Because murals tend to be painted on public buildings such as schools, public swimming pools, parks, they must be produced in partnership with the relevant authorities or organizations. Murals that do not have permission could be considered ‘graffiti’ and removed. Campaign organizers may also face punishable consequences if illegal.


During the 2007 16 Days of Activism campaign, as part of their One Man Can campaign, the South African NGO Sonke Gender Justice ran a workshop for arts students who together to paint a mural depicting men demonstrating their opposition to domestic and sexual violence. Tens of thousands of people pass by the mural every day.

More Women on the Street (Mural, Argentina)

This mural was created by a group of artistic women working on safe cities for women.  The text reads, “Más Mujeres en las calles, ciudades seguras para todos/as sin miedo ni violencia” (More Women in the Street; Safe Cities for Everyone without Fear and Violence  (Image Source: M. Rodigou, CISCSA (part of the UNIFEM-supported Regional ProgrammeCities without Violence against Women, Safe Cities for All).

The We Can campaign in Sri Lanka has found unusual platforms for “murals” – on Oxfam’s water tanks in camps for tsunami survivors. People often have to queue up and wait to get water. Displaying the campaign messages on the tanks offers an opportunity to start a discussion on the campaign topic.

Oxfam murals with messages painted on Oxfam water tanks raising awareness of domestic violence against women, Vaharai, north of Batticaloa. Photo: Howard Davies /Oxfam.

'My father is always shouting at my mother. Why?'' 'Violence destroys the whole family.' Credit: Jenny Enarsson, Copyright: Oxfam.