OITNB honors Poussey with murals painted around the world
Poussey Washington may be gone, but she’s definitely not been forgotten.
Ahead of the fifth season premiere of Orange Is the New Black, Netflix has commissioned artists around the world to paint portraits of Samira Wiley’s character, whose upsetting death at the hands of a prison guard at the end of the fourth season sparked a prison riot (which will drive the forthcoming season).
The murals were created by local artists who were fans of the show and were simply asked to bring their own perspective to the beloved character. Each mural will be emblazoned with the slogan “Stand Up,” and OITNB fans will be able to see them in New York (Anthony Mast), Los Angeles (Tewsr), Toronto (Ness Lee), Melbourne (Elle), Sydney (Vexta), Chicago (Max Sansing), Detroit (Michelle Tanguay), and San Francisco (Amanda Lynn).
“I want to do the character justice and do the show justice because I think they have so many strong messages that are really relevant today,” Tanguay told the Associated Press, which first broke the news. “I viewed this project as paying tribute to the character… I wanted to make it very positive, and that’s why I chose the bright colors, the bright blues, to just do her justice.”
Viewers can find Tanguay’s 24-by-25 feet portrait painted on a brick wall at the corner of Broadway Street and Grand River Avenue in Detroit. “To see an African-American woman on the wall in Detroit, blown up huge, with the words ‘Stand Up’ — it’s just so empowering, and that’s what I wanted everyone to feel when they see the mural,” said Tanguay.
“I think it’s our responsibility as artists to be able to reflect the time that we’re living in,” Wiley, who’s proud that the campaign nods to the recent instances of African-Americans being killed in police custody, told the AP. “She’s a fictional character that can elicit real change in thought and action from people.”
Check out the portraits below:
Orange Is the New Black returns for its fifth season, which takes place over the course of three intense days, on June 9. For a first look at season 5, click here. Wiley can next be seen on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which premieres Wednesday.
Orange Is the New Black
Jenji Kohan’s absorbing ensemble dramedy, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, takes viewers inside the walls of Litchfield, a minimum security women’s prison where nothing’s as simple as it seems—especially the inmates.