It was only going to be a matter of time until London reacted to the fact the Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States, his bizarre ‘travel ban’ and a series of other unusual policies and tweets. While in recent years most people tended to take to social media to voice their outrage on social, political, economic or environmental issues, this has not been the case in 2017. This year, more and more people have decided to rally up and join forces and sought to be a little bit more active rather than passive aggressive in their opinions. So far we have seen hundreds of thousands women march for their rights across the world in response to Trump’s derogatory comments on women, the introduction of an ‘anti-Trump hair cut’ and an online game based on the Trump Whitehouse! Recent political occurrences have certainly shaken up our country and its capital.
The increased creativity in the way people are choosing to show their distrust and dislike of the new American president is something that has even filtered through to the street art scene here in Shoreditch. Furia, a graffiti artist has made her political views very clear in her latest depiction where she painted the US president on Leonard Street with a caption that reads, “Democracy, when even an idiot has a say.” Furia has said that “the mural was conceived as a performance work of art. It’s not only about the image but as a way of engaging the public into participating in the action” – and participate they did. Shortly after the piece was up, the piece of artwork was found to have been egged, which Furia states was the aim of the project anyway.
The artist had this to say about her artwork, the reaction it received and what that suggests about London’s overall view on Trump, “Everyone padding by was more than willing to take part as a way of expressing their feelings for Trump and his political views. Shoreditch is a hub for diversity and pluri-culturality- from American tourists to English and foreign artist to the unknown passer-by, everyone felt that throwing eggs at the portrait was a fun way of protesting against discriminatory ways of thing.”
The portrait of Donald Trump is also not the first (nor is it likely to be the last) artistic portrayal of London’s feelings towards the unwelcome presidency. Street artist Pegasus also took to the streets to showcase his work or the British PM Teresa May and Donald Trump in a very compromising position. In East Street, Shoreditch you will find a painting of May laughing and what appears to be spanking the US president who is laid out across her knee. Pegasus said that, “I had a lot of people stop and laugh and take photographs. Then a lot of people who were more serious and were voicing how they were disgusted at Trump and how they thought May has just rolled over and been submissive to him.”
It is clear from just a handful of demonstrations in London that the overall conclusion to Donald Trump’s presidency is that it is not something that the majority of Londoner’s agree with or wish to entertain. London’s resistance to Trump can be witness in its street art, to its choice of haircut and even in being able to gather together thousands of protestors. It will be interesting to see what other creative ways the UK capital will continue to showcase their disapproval for America’s choice of president. Watch this space.