Blood Diamond

(vimeo link)

The artist known as simply ABOVE has been making headlines with his social and political street art for years. His latest installation is painted on a wall in Jewel City, the diamond trade area of Johannesburg, South Africa. The shenanigans involved in getting permission for the paint job ensure that it probably won't last long, but the project is documented both in video and in pictures. Continue reading for the story of how he pulled off this stunt and see photographs of the finished work.

Africa has had a devastating history of blood diamond wars. Blood
diamond refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and then sold to
finance an invading army's war efforts, usually in Africa where more
than two-thirds of the worlds diamonds are extracted. This site
specific social / political word play was painted on the exterior wall
of Johannesburg's largest diamond trader Jewel City. Jewel City is a
six-block mega-precinct that serves as a base for some 300 diamond
traders as well as South Africa’s Diamond Board and State Traders
Association. Jewel City is the largest diamond exporter in the
southern hemisphere with over R7-Billion worth of Diamonds being
exported every year.

I was able to get away with this diamond wall heist because I told the
owners I would paint in big letters "Diamonds are a woman's best
friend" on the exterior of their building. The owners loved the idea
and all quickly agreed. The next day I had started painting but what
the owners didn't know is that I lied to them and was hijacking their
wall. Like any premeditated robbery, situations are not what they seem
and shit can flip from best friends to worst enemies in a few moments.

I assume the owners were too busy trading diamonds inside the mega
centre they never took the time to come out and see I was painting a
controversial word play about the diamond trade and how it's fueled so
much bloodshed in wars making it one of man's worst enemies.

Find out more at ABOVE's website. Link -Thanks, ABOVE!

Previously at Neatorama: 10 Facts About Diamonds You Should Know

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