MONTREAL, May 16, 2022 /CNW/ - A new artwork, created through transformational philanthropy, has been unveiled in the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough. The result of a collaboration between Article47 (funder), Emrical (art curator), muralist Monk.E and Lilian Antunes Villanueva, L'innocence de la Nouvelle Maison (The Innocence of a New Home) celebrates the memory of Fredy Alberto Villanueva, a young man of Honduran origin who came to Canada at the age of eight and was killed by police on August 9, 2008, ten years later. La Nouvelle Maison (a translation of "villa-nueva") symbolizes that which Canada represents for many who come to the country seeking refuge.
Click here to watch the making of the mural.
Article 47 turned to Monk.E after seeing his piece honoring the memory of the artist Jeune Loup, and his artistic tribute to the late musician Karim Ouellet, a piece created in Dakar.
La Nouvelle Maison responds to the wishes expressed by Fredy's family, who, along with demanding justice, asked that a tribute be created near the site where the young man lost his life.
"I've been waiting for this for a long time. It's incredible. […] When I saw the picture of my son, I was shocked. Tears started pouring down my cheeks. I saw my child the way he was when he arrived in Canad. […] I hope that everyone will see him that way, it's how my son was," said Lilian Madrid Antunes, mother of Fredy.
Set against an urban backdrop, this work is a testament to innocence and memory, honouring a young man whose migration journey was cut short in an event that elicited indignation as well as extraordinary solidarity and increased awareness in Montreal, the province of Quebec and even beyond the borders of Canada.
The mural depicts Fredy when he arrived in Canada, radiant with childhood innocence. Angelic wings reach from his back across the horizon of his newfound home. Beside him is the trunk of the tree which became a memorial for his family and supporters, and a pair of dice, representing his activity that was violently interrupted on the fatal day.
"It's amazing to be chosen to share something profound like this. […] That's why I make art: to have an impact on our time, through meaningful projects," said Monk.E.
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