As protest get intense across the US over the murder of George Floyd, Black artist Jammie Holmes unveiled a powerful piece of protest art to honour the African -American man.
Taking the help of Detroit gallery Library Street Collective, Holmes commissioned planes to fly over five U.S. cities, carrying banners emblazoned with the last words spoken by Floyd, who was killed on May 25th while being arrested by Minneapolis police.
Banners reading ‘Please, I can’t breathe’, ‘My stomach hurts, my neck hurts’, ‘Everything hurts,’ ‘They’re going to kill me,’ were flown across the skies of Detroit, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York to condemn racism and police brutality.
”This presentation is an act of social conscience and protest meant to bring people together in their shared incense at the inhumane treatment of American citizens. The deployment of Floyd’s last words in parts of its whole across the country underlines a need for unity and the conviction that what happened to George Floyd is happening all over America. An enduring culture of fear and hateful discrimination has only increased in its intensity since 2018, and a critical mass will no longer allow it to be ignored,” Holmes wrote on his website.
He added: “Like countless silenced and fearful young black men, I have been the victim of police misconduct on a number of occasions in my life. At some point, they will realise they can’t kill us all.”
Holmes is a self-taught painter from Louisiana who is represented by Library Street Collective, a contemporary art gallery based in Detroit, as per WDET. His art mostly depicts the everyday lives of black communities in the American South.
Meanwhile, all four officers involved in the incident have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, while Derek Chauvinm who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck now faces charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.