A Community's Voice Through Art and Technology
The city of Flint, Michigan has long been known for its rich history, struggles, and resiliency. However, in recent years, the community has found a new way to redefine itself through art and technology. One of the most exciting examples of this is The Flint Mural Poems, a collection of poems written by high school students that have been embedded into mural Smart Plaques, allowing anyone to experience the poem while standing in front of murals.
ORIGINS OF FLINT MURALS AND POETRY
The murals were designed to cover empty walls and spaces that were often associated with crime or blight, and to transform these areas into colorful and inspiring spaces that would showcase the community’s creativity and spirit. Beginning in 2022, the Flint Public Art Project began inviting high school students from Carman-Ainsworth to submit original poems,based on murals in the gallery, that would reflect their experiences and perspectives on the community. The poems covered a range of themes, from personal struggles and dreams to social justice and activism. The result is a collection of powerful and poignant pieces that capture the essence of Flint’s youth culture.
How to experience Flint Mural Poems
two ways to experience a mural POEM
launch with a Map-tap
If you Map-Tap any of the Ps on a map it will launch a PixelStix page that allows you to ‘View Content’. This action loads the Mural Poem.
Many of the mural poems have an audio option and this Map-Tap feature is perfect for parking your car with a great view of the mural and using the Bluetooth system to listen to the poem through your car’s speakers.
touch your phone to the mural plaque
All PixelStix Smart Plaques are equipped with NFC for easy access to it’s content. When you are in front of the mural plaque, open the PixelStix app, tap the large P, and touch your phone to the plaque to load the Mural Poem experience.
iPhone users: Your NFC scanner is in the nose of your phone
Android users: Your NFC scanner is *usually* in the middle-back of your phone
The benefits of The Flint Mural Poems are numerous
For one, it gives young community members a voice in the community. By allowing them to express themselves through poetry and showcasing their work on public murals, the project empowers young people and validates their experiences. It also provides a sense of ownership and pride in their community, which can be a powerful tool in combating the negative stereotypes often associated with Flint.
Furthermore, the project helps to bridge the gap between art and technology. By using PixelStix Smart Plaques, The Flint Mural Poems project not only makes the poems accessible to a wider audience but also adds a new layer of interactivity and engagement to the murals themselves. This makes the project an innovative and forward-thinking example of how art and technology can be combined to create new forms of expression and engagement.
Finally, the project shows how art can be used as a tool for community revitalization and redevelopment. By transforming empty walls and spaces into colorful and inspiring murals, the project helps to beautify the community and create a sense of pride and ownership among community members. It also helps to create a safer and more inviting environment by reducing the amount of blight and crime associated with empty or abandoned spaces.
In conclusion, The Flint Mural Poems project is an inspiring example of how art and technology can be used to empower young people, bridge the gap between different forms of expression, and revitalize communities. It is a powerful reminder that creativity and resilience are at the heart of the human experience and that they can be harnessed to transform even the most challenging situations into opportunities for growth and renewal.
About the flint mural POEMS
All poems were written by students attending Carman-Ainsworth. The murals that make Flint’s Mural Poems possible have been lovingly curated by the Flint Public Art Project and a variety of local, national and international artists. All 250+ murals that makeup the Flint Public Art Project gallery are equipped with PixelStix plaques for learning about the artists and local communities that host them.