“Utopia” by Panmela Castro
In cooperation with the Marquette Neighborhood Association's Art and Culture Committee, Willy Street Co-op welcomed internationally acclaimed graffiti artist Panmela Castro (aka Anarkia Boladona) to design and paint this mural.
Original Post titled MNA & Co-op Partner to Create Community Artwork
From the Artist:
Two naked women are united by their hair. The nudity symbolizes woman in her natural state – in her pure skin – respected for who she is and not for what people see.
Hair – nothing is as personal and symbolic of strength and femininity as hair. In this union, hair refers to power. Power is constructed by the union of ;women of all types – from the past and the future – by women who envision achievement.
Utopia, the name of this mural, refers to a distant myth about a strong woman who lives in a free society. This world - of Utopia and Fantasy - is created with a palette of vibrant colors. It inhabits a dream atmosphere – an ideal future – that is yet to become a reality, but is not impossible to be realized.
Enacted in Brazil in 2006, the Maria da Penha Law on Domestic Violence against Women was named after a woman, severely beaten by her husband, who was left paralyzed for life. The law granted legal protection for women, giving them the tools they needed to combat violence against women. To bring awareness to this new law, Panmela organized a group of women who would use art to teach women and girls in Rio about women’s rights and to build a strong consciousness about women’s worth.
Panmela works to empower women and bring about meaningful and positive change. In Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, Prague, Johannesburg, New York, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and now, Madison, WI, Panmela’s art and message of empowerment has reached far beyond the streets of Rio.
Panmela has received a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts program at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
2010 - Hutúz Award - Graffiti Artist of the Decade, the most important Hip Hop award in Latin America
2010 - Vital Voices Global Leadership Award, to honor and celebrate women leaders who are working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights around the world.
2012 - Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation to recognize and support women who are using their resources, commitment and visibility to transform the lives of other women.