Pupils paint giant street mural at Bow School ahead of UN climate talks

Eyes that say it all...the mural in Bow pleading for Planet Earth.

The mural at Bow School. - Credit: Paint for Change

Pupils have created a huge mural on the wall of Bow School as a message about saving the planet. 

They have splashed out in colour to tell delegates preparing for the UN Climate Change conference in November in Glasgow to “act now or it’s too late”.  

School wall in Bow with a splash of colour and a message to the UN to 'save the planet'

The school wall in Bow with a splash of colour and a message to the UN to 'save the planet'. - Credit: Paint for Change

The 55ft-long street artwork results from a series of workshops run by Paint the Change social justice and street art project to push the message about the global ecology crisis. 

Teachers might have been expected to reprimand the pupils for painting on school walls, but instead seemed enthusiastic. 

Not every day teachers let you splash paint on the playground wall... but it's different at Bow School. 

Not every day teachers let you splash paint on the wall... but it's different at Bow School. - Credit: Paint for Change

“We feel inspired by the determination our youngsters,” headteacher Danny Lye admitted. “They’ve taken part in these workshops to use art to express important issues.


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"Working with Paint the Change has given a voice to their concerns. This mural is inspiration to all who see it, as well as brightening our corner of east London.” 

The message is about governments having to accept that their actions “have immediate consequences on our planet” and to stop using greenhouse gases. 

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The workshops were run by street artist Efe Ezekiel, a youth mentor with the arts organisation, to help students get to grips with issues of the day and to have a chance to talk about their concerns for the environment.

Topics included racism, mental health, crime — and even how to save the turtle.  

Glance at the mural on the wall at Bow School calling for action to stop climate disaster 

A glance at the mural on the wall at Bow School calling for action to stop climate disaster. - Credit: Paint for Change

Efe said: “The students brought so much energy to our workshops and produced incredible artwork.

"They were passionate about having a voice and connecting again with each other.” 

The students drew their feelings and expressed emotions in a visual way for the mural that the school says brings “a visual breath of fresh air to this part of their world.”  

Paint the Change has worked with communities across the world since 2015, creating 50 murals on five continents to champion social justice. 

These have included the giant mural on Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix arts centre at the height of the Covid emergency last year as a tribute to the NHS. It marked the 200 nationalities working in the health service.  

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