Los Angeles Artist Creates Channels Post-Roe Rage Into Powerful Mural For Reproductive Freedom

“SOMEBODY” mural by artist Bri Cirel. Downtown Los Angeles, 2022.

Somebody. Some body. I am somebody. Not just some body.

That is the tagline for artist Bri Cirel’s powerful new mural “SOMEBODY”, which can be found in Downtown Los Angeles. She began work on this prior to the June 24th decision from the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which as we all know overturned Roe v Wade. Although a leaked memo earlier in 2022 put the country on high alert as to what the Supreme Court were going to rule in this monumental case, it was nonetheless easy to stomach on the day it was officially released and announced.

The decision by an ultra-conservative Supreme Court majority to take away the rights to safe and legal abortion, allowing each state to now decide the fate of individual pregnant people, is a grave one that will only be fully felt in the days, months and years to come. It is a far-reaching decision that is undoubtedly going to impact so much more than just the right to access abortion. And as numerous reproductive justice and rights advocates have been warning for many years, marginalized and vulnerable folks will be impacted negatively the most.

Already we have seen the shocking news story of a 10 year-old girl form Ohio, who was raped and impregnated, who had to travel to nearby Indiana with her mother to get the timely abortion care she needed. This story has gone viral in the news, angering the most ardent abortion rights supporters, and causing conservative anti-choice politicians to cry “fake news”, as opposed to facing up to the fact that anti-abortion laws only hurt and endanger the most vulnerable in our population.

What is being left out of the conversation in this story, among the anti-choice folks trying to ignore or push disinformation, is that the child at the center of this case is somebody, not just some body.

Now more than ever we need to see loud and powerful voices proclaiming the importance of bodily autonomy in a country that is fast-eroding this notion. As an artist, Bri Cirel is part of a long-standing tradition, seen and felt the world over, of artists channeling their rage and pain into work that breaks through the noise and presents a statement in a way that is desperately needed.

In a dual composition of image and text, “SOMEBODY” pulls together a choreography of pictorial and written messages. Inspired to create a project of advocacy for equal rights and reproductive freedom in the wake of alarming assaults on bodily autonomy, “SOMEBODY” addresses not only the issue of privacy and agency, but the entire ecosystem of outdated social stigmas around sexuality, access to health care and education, disparities in quality of care across race and class, and the intersections with other pernicious mechanisms of institutional misogyny. 

“Against the backdrop of a national flag that is supposed to stand for personal liberty, the woman’s strength, self-possession, and prayerful optimism is a response to both a long history of fighting this battle, the gutting disappointment of what feels like going backwards, and a steely resolve to fight on,” describes Bri in a press release about her mural.

“The flag also represents the interwoven assault on voting rights and the urgency of the ballot, as well as highlighting the need for intersectional resistance when it comes to protecting the vote, gay rights, trans rights, Black lives and democracy itself. Stand up and be counted.”

You can visit the mural in person at 212 E 11th st. Los Angeles, right near the Pamper Beauty Supply store. Follow Bri on Instagram to see more of her incredible work, and support the work of pro choice artists using their platforms to champion bodily autonomy, reproductive freedom.

Artist Bri Cirel in action painting her mural “SOMEBODY” in downtown Los Angeles, 2022.

Comments are closed.