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Muralist Decoy Is Inspired By The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project, A Revealing Collaboration with Journalist Ian Urbina

Mural by Decoy, in Dublin, Ireland

Logo of The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project launched in April 2022

Logo of The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project launched in April 2022

Exposure to first-hand accounts of what happens at sea has been eye-opening.

— Decoy for The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project

WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, April 14, 2022 / — In a personal essay about his art, muralist Decoy explains why he joined forces with investigative reporter Ian Urbina to draw attention to human rights and environmental abuses at sea within The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project.

A global effort to disseminate investigative journalism about human exploitation and labor crimes at sea, the project brings together painters from around the world to leverage public creativity with a cause. These paintings are based on the groundbreaking reporting produced by a small, non-profit news outlet based in Washington, D.C., The Outlaw Ocean Project. The organization exposes the urgent problems happening on the earth’s oceans including sea slavery, arms trafficking, the climate crisis and overfishing.

What makes The Outlaw Ocean Project a distinct news organization is three-fold. First, the reporting focuses on the more than 50 million people who work in a realm that covers over two thirds of the planet, but whose stories are rarely told. Second, the news-gathering is funded directly by readers and foundations so that the stories can be published for free in over a half dozen languages and more than three dozen countries, which gives it wide impact. Third, the journalism is targeted toward non-news platforms and a younger and more international audience by converting these stories into art. In turn, individuals are able to connect with the issues on a more visceral level.

The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project is part of this innovation and offers a communal display of nontraditional journalism with unmatched effectiveness.

Decoy is based in Dublin, Ireland. An active member of the muralist community for the past seven years, he has completed multiple large-scale outdoor commissions.

Graduating in 2013 with a degree in Fine Arts from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Decoy has participated in a number of arts festivals including the “Grey Area Project,” “Waterford Walls Project,” “Limerick City Build,” “Dun Laoghaire Anseo” and “Hit the North.” He has also painted murals in London, Paris and Lisbon.

While the open-air painter is cautious about making political statements in his art, he was drawn to the project’s mission of spreading information about ocean crime.

“As an artist, it is my duty to respond to circumstances to which I am opposed,” said Decoy. “I feel compelled to address these issues in my artwork.”

Decoy believes his painting could spark an international reaction, especially by using social media to amplify the mural’s reach.

“It’s possible that this art will not only impact the local community, but will also touch a nerve in locations around the world,” he said.

Decoy’s mural can be found in Dublin, Ireland and is called “Forgotten Fishermen.”

About The Outlaw Ocean Project:

The Outlaw Ocean Project is a non-profit journalism organization founded by Ian Urbina that produces investigative stories about environmental and human rights concerns at sea globally. The project seeks to not only produce polished, narrative investigative journalism, but also to amplify that reportage by converting it into other other mediums to reach new audiences all over the world.

Media Team
The Outlaw Ocean Project
Visit us on social media:

Decoy | #TheOutlawOceanMuralProject

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