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    Mural by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (6 photos): “I let go of what has weighed me down. Light as a feather, I ride the wind. Like Black folks have always done. Flying free above the structures built to confine us”

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    Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

    “Flight” by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at 1228 Spruce St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Mural Arts Philadelphia. Photos by Steve Weinik and James.


    Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: This painting, 100 ft in the air, is so special to me. I lived in the building it is painted on when I was 17 years old. This series is so special to me. I’ve long wanted to create it, and join the long list of Black artists and writers who have used the mythology of Black folk flying in their work. I’ve interviewed so far several Black people about the idea of our ability to fly. Photographed them. Discussed freedom and healing with them.



    Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: “I let go of what has weighed me down. Light as a feather, I ride the wind. Like Black folks have always done. Flying free above the structures built to confine us.” It took me a while to get to this final writing of prose for the mural. I wanted to convey both my own personal weightlessness as a means to fly, inspired by Toni Morrison’s writing. As well as a reference to the collective ability found in historical stories. My work is generally about how we experience particular environments on the ground through the lens of race and gender. This project is breaking that open, offering public images of us traversing a new space – the air – above societal structures and boundaries.





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