City Forest Mural Favorite 



Apr 8 2021


Melbourne Austrailia

The sneaker brand Converse has commissioned an indigenous artist in Australia to create a gigantic mural with a surprising twist. The Melbourne mural plays homage to indigenous urban identity and was painted with a special type of pollution-absorbing paint that “cleans the air,” according to the agency behind the project, Amplify. The artwork, titled “City Forest Mural,” was created by artist and activist Aretha Brown, who is from the Australian aboriginal group Gumbaynggirr. The goal was to spark conversations around indigenous urban identity and raise awareness of the importance of elders in the community. Amplify claims that the paint is capable of sucking up pollution equivalent to 28 trees. The agency created a short film detailing the mural’s creation.

Brown, who is a former prime minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, consulted prominent Australian actor and Aboriginal elder Uncle Jack Charles as part of her creative process to learn about the indigenous history of the area where the mural is painted. The design, in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, celebrates Aboriginal matriarchs, showcases indigenous elders and explores how indigenous culture coexists with modern life, Amplify said in a statement.

The mural has an educational element, and was designed with a scannable QR code that redirects viewers to a profile of the indigenous artist and to the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC) website. In addition to the mural, Converse has also released a limited edition t-shirt as part of the campaign, which sold out in 24 hours. All proceeds went to NIYEC to help support indigenous youth.

“The main objective of my art and my activism is to make sure that young indigenous people have a voice,” Brown said in a statement.

The public art campaign, which first launched globally in August 2020, has been dubbed 'Converse City Forests' and is a celebration of creating together for social progress. The first mural went up in Sydney followed by this mural in Melbourne, with a third mural is planned to go up in Auckland later this year. Converse claims this venture has resulted in the same environmental impact as planting 8,033 trees with each mural utilizing an air-purifying paint that absorbs the equivalent air pollutant of 128 trees, for example, in inner-city Melbourne. Converse has partnered with similar muralists in 21 cities around the world making murals that benefit the environment and highlight local cultures and artists.

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change

This project promotes both the rights of Indigenous people and the environment by creating a work of art that highlights the role of Indigenous elders, amplifies the coexistence of Indigenous and modern life, and helps the environment.


This project amplifies the identity of the 80% of Indigenous people who live in urban areas and both provides them with resources by connecting them to the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition website and a local Indigenous artist. The work also reduces pollution by a small amount. The project does not necessarily end the oppression, exclusion, and threat to Indigenous people's culture, but it does some work in amplifying their identity and helping the environment.