The Mexican art collective Tlacolulokos, the special guests of the ElDorado festival in the French city of Lille, were forced to erase a part of a mural following a strong reaction by a police union that considered the artwork insulting.
Darío Canul, one of the founders of the art collective, told that they had been forced to remove the acronym “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) from their mural, which was meant to denounce corruption, following a reaction by the Alliance union, who considered it offensive.
“The mural we made was part of a creative concept we shared from the start, focused on political and social struggle. The fight against power was conveyed through resistance on the streets, and aimed at libertarian groups acting in favor of their liberties,” stated Canul.
“We usually work with Mexican and catholic elements, mixing them up with the ancient traditions of our native peoples, from Chiapas to the Amazon, and their relationship to neo-liberalism,” he commented, adding that the driving force of their art was a struggle against power imposed through capitalism.
The controversial mural shows three veiled woman with the slogan: “Hydrate with urban liquor.”
But what caught the attention of police forces, as well as some citizens, were more specific details, such as the tattoos of two women: An AK-47, and the acronym “ACAB.”
The inscription was removed on Friday after a member of the police union said in an interview with La Voix du Nord that they found the message aggressive, particularly considering France’s situation regarding the threat of jihadi terrorist groups, as well as violent clashes between public forces and yellow vest protesters.
Canul insisted that the art collective was always well informed about the neighborhoods where they painted their murals. “The mural is for the people, not for us.”
“In this case, the neighborhood has a strong fighting spirit and has a history of social struggle, which is why we wanted to include the acronym.”