Olek – There Is No Such Thing As Part Freedom – NYC

VNA caught up with NY-based Polish yarn-bomber, Olek as she braved the coldest day of the century (it was literally minus 15ºC) in Manhattan to put up this piece as part of the continuing Little Italy Street Art (L.I.S.A.) Project.

More jump off after the jump off…


In her own words, here’s how she describes her work:

‘The faith of those who make lasting changes in our society is constant and total. The word “progress” often has a connotation that implies a forward motion: always onward, always chipping away at the old to improve. But progress ebbs and flows, it can move forward and backward in small cycles towards our goal. And as Nelson Mandela said, only when equality is total can it truly be called freedom.’


‘The world has collectively advanced the civil rights of the LGBT community over the past several years. Beginning in 2014, London and Wales will allow same sex marriage. State by state, the United States has been legalizing same sex marriages, paving the road to equality.’


‘Simultaneously, this forward motion has been impeded. Many American states, such as Utah, have recently put a hold on (or banned outright) gay marriages. In mid 2013, the Russian parliament enacted a law even penalizing displays of support of sexual and marital equality, calling it “homosexual propaganda”, worthy of jail time. India, a democratic nation, recently reversed an earlier 2009 law and has now even criminalized gay sex under Indian Penal Code 377.’


‘With the passing of the hero Nelson Mandela, we remember that the path of progress, the struggle for equality for all, is a life-long endeavor, achieved through persistence and faith, never wavering. Each individual must participate in this progress through any way available, including public displays of solidarity, creations of art, reliance on the legal system and vocalizations of opinion. Equality for all in some parts of the world is not total equality; it must be worldwide.’


‘My crocheted fence, “there is no such thing as part freedom”, reflects on this ebb and flow of change, acting as a reminder of the never-ending faith required to make lasting change. As Nelson Mandela reminded us, we must “…engage in debate frankly and thoroughly…and thus emerge stronger.” With this piece, I engage that debate and vocalize my support for total equality.’



Photos courtesy of Martha Cooper – Instagram: @marthacoopergram