"Against Domestic Colonialism" by Arnold Belkin

"Against Domestic Colonialism" by Arnold Belkin

In the small and wildly popular neighborhood park of Mathews-Palmer Playground lives the only remaining mural in the U.S. by NYC/Mexico City's Arnold Belkin. The mural "Against Domestic Colonialism" was painted in 1973 by Arnold Belkin with the help of the residents of the Hell's Kitchen community. A tumultuous time in NYC, Arnold Belkin gathered the community to assist in creating this poignant  and timely message "We the People Demand Control of our Communities", a message that still resonates to our communities today.

Original Rendering by Arnold Belkin

Original Rendering by Arnold Belkin

This original rendering was painted by Arnold Belkin in 1972 in preparation for the 60' x 65' wall mural "Against Domestic Colonialism".

Many thanks to Patricia Quijano Ferrer executive of the Belkin Estate for providing this important archival rendering.  

"Against Domestic Colonialism"

"Against Domestic Colonialism"

Muralist Denise Gieseke Penizzotto and Belkin historian Dina Comisarenco holding the brightly painted original rendering in front of the mural as it stands today after years of weather damage, patches and neglect.

We the people..

We the people..

"We the People Demand Control of our Communities"

This message from the community is as relevant today as it was in 1973 when the mural was painted.

Detail

Detail

Right side of mural in 2016. Throughout the years concrete patches have covered over much of the top portion of the mural. Plaster has dropped out and water leaks have created a need for a resurfacing of the wall.

"Against Domestic Colonialism" NYC circa 1973

"Against Domestic Colonialism" NYC circa 1973

Found in the archives this photo shows the Mathews-Palmer Playground and freshly painted mural by Arnold Belkin in 1973.

Today, much like in the 70s, the playground is a center for the community to gather for basketball, handball, picnics and community outreach.