Protesting with light: how one artist is taking on Trump
Published Friday, May 19, 2017 5:04PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 19, 2017 5:12PM EDT
Light is his medium. The U.S. capital’s grand edifices are his canvas. U.S. President Donald Trump is his muse.
Meet Robin Bell, a Washington, D.C.-based artist who is using mobile projectors to protest against the United States’ new Republican government.
“There is clear outrage in this country and around the world about the Trump administration,” Bell told CTV News Channel on Friday.
“And we want to focus that energy and let people know that it’s not just Donald Trump, but it’s a whole institution… it’s a system that’s not holding him and these others accountable.”
Using light, Bell has taken aim at Trump’s entire team.
The hashtag “#SESSIONSMUSTGO” and a cartoon image of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Ku Klux Klan uniform was recently projected on the Department of Justice’s headquarters to protest against the former Alabama senator, who has been dogged by accusations of racism.
At the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bell projected the words “DON’T LET A CLIMATE DENIER TAKE OVER THE EPA,” a jab at the new EPA head, Scott Pruitt, who sued the agnecy more than a dozen times when he was Oklahoma’s Attorney General.
“A lot of these officials, they don’t actually respect the departments they’re head of,” Bell said. “And so we have a lot of inspiration for making art around these people who do not care about the government and are trying to destroy it from within.”
The controversial new Trump International Hotel has also been targeted. One message, projected just above the hotel’s main entrance with an arrow, read “PAY TRUMP BRIBES HERE.”
“The Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. just made sense,” Bell said. “This is where foreign governments are changing their reservations from other hotels and restaurants in Washington, D.C. to the Trump hotel so that they can get access to the president.”
Bell says that he has no plans to stop his projection protests any time soon.
“This is 100 per cent legal and falls under First Amendment rights,” he said. “People on the streets of Washington love what we’re doing.”