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Philadelphia mural tells a story of transformation » Yale Climate Connections

On the side of a huge old warehouse in Philadelphia, a new mural — longer than a football field — tells the story of the harms people have caused to the Earth and a future rooted in climate action.

Jones: “We receive so much discouraging information about the climate, but we actually have a lot of hopeful things going on right in our city right now.”

That’s Eurhi Jones, lead artist for the mural. It was a project of the organization Mural Arts Philadelphia and designed in collaboration with environmental justice groups and Indigenous activists.

The huge, intricate work reads almost like a timeline. It starts with an image of the Earth built on a turtle’s back — based on the creation story of the Lenape people native to the region.

It depicts the damage caused by colonization, logging, air pollution, and oil and gas drilling.

Then it shows a healthier future unfolding.

Jones: “We see images of green jobs, electric vehicles, and shared bicycle systems. … We see stumps in the beginning that turn into regenerating trees.”

And it includes images of local climate activists fighting for change.

So passersby can enjoy mural art in their community — and feel inspired by a vision of a future that they can help create.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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