While hundreds of people congregated at the Saskatchewan Legislature to protest against racism this week, you couldn’t help but notice a chalk-drawn mural of George Floyd serving as the centerpiece.
The mural was drawn by Regina student Zoe Stradeski, who says she was inspired to memorialize Floyd after seeing the unrest that was triggered by his death.
“I wanted to show my own support,” said Stradeski. “As a white person, I wanted to show what it means to be actively anti-racist, as opposed to simply non-racist.”
Stradeski says that it’s important for young people to show what they want to the future to look like and that seeing the unity shown around the world has given her some hope.
“Seeing all of these rallies with all of these young people of every single nationality is absolutely beautiful because it shows the unity that I hope people are striving towards in the future,” said Stradeski. “I hope that will be an indicator of what the future will be like with coming generations as we move forward.”
During the course of the protests, people avoided coming near or stepping on the mural, which is something that Stradeski says she didn’t expect.
“It was valued way more than I thought it would be, simply because it’s just a chalk drawing,” said Stradeski. “I went there with the intent of raising awareness, but I was completely blown away by the response that it got, and how much people actually did appreciate it.”
Even though the rain in the forecast for this weekend may wash the mural away, Stradeski is hoping the message behind it resonates for a long time.