Red Hook mural divides neighborhood

After attacks and vandalism the building’s owner is removing the protest painting
September 27, 2015 03:00PM

Last week, a controversial mural in Bushwick sparked a debate over gentrification. Now, yet another Brooklyn mural – this time in Red Hook – is stirring up controversy.

Wylie Goodman allowed a huge protest mural to go up on the side of her building. The mural, which depicts a mouthless woman’s head partially covered in a niqab, is part of a campaign to fight the arrest of illustrator Atena Farghadani, according to the New York Times.

Farghadani was sentenced this summer to 12 years in an Iranian prison for satirizing politicians.

Some in the neighborhood complain that the mural is “anti-American” and should be removed. It was recently vandalized with paintball guns.

Fearing that the continued vandalism might damage her property and frighten her tenants, Goodman is painting over the mural earlier that the contracted date.

“The people I live around every day, their feelings deserve to be heard, even if I disagree with them,” she said.

Newer transplants to the neighborhood tend to support the mural and blame its opponents of being xenophobic. But longtime locals seem to have won the battle.

“After 9/11, people don’t want to see that,” a man who asked to remain anonymous told the Times. “People around here are saying, ‘After what they did to us, let’s worry about our own instead of somebody’s right to put up art.’” [NYT] Christopher Cameron