This team of Berlin street artists are taking a positive stance against hatred within their city.
37-year-old Ibo Omari is a German artist who was disgusted by the amount of swastikas that he saw spray painted around his community – so instead of allowing the hateful signs to remain visible, he recruited a team of young street artists to help cover them up with friendly illustrations.
Omari, who runs a graffiti shop and youth club in Berlin, launched the Paint Back initiative to encourage people to take action against the ugly vandalism.
Since he first created the campaign, his team has transformed 25 swastikas into works of art – all of which were done with permission from the property owner.
Since Omari’s team first began their mission in 2015, they have found less and less newly spray-painted swastikas in the area.
Additionally, the Paint Back campaign has inspired dozens of other artists to cover up similar hate symbols in Hamburg, Kiel, and Bremen.
“It was important to spur young people into action and to encourage them to take responsibility so they don’t just ignorantly walk past such symbols of hatred,” Omari told Reuters. “It offends the whole neighborhood if someone in our midst paints swastikas in a children’s playground and I take it personally.”
Omari’s team aren’t the only ones fighting anti-Semitism in Berlin, either – 70-year-old Irmela Schramm made headlines last year for constantly painting hearts over swastikas that she saw in public.
(WATCH the artists in action below)
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