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Muralist Mag Magrela in a Unique Collaboration with Journalist Ian Urbina The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project

Mural by Mag Marela, Sao Paulo, Brazil, titled “Waters Revolt.”

Logo of The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project launched in April 2022

Logo of The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project launched in April 2022

I had no idea of the ferocious occupation of the oceans. What I see is a great race to occupy a space that is ungoverned by the rule of law.

— Mag Magrela for The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project

WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, April 18, 2022 / — Detailing her thoughts about her art in an essay, muralist Mag Magrela explains why she teamed up 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. The 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.

Carolyna Barbara Maciel, the artist known as Mag Magrela, is based in São Paulo, Brazil. Involved in the arts from a young age, Magrela remembers watching her father painting and listening to records. However, it wasn’t until 2007, that the streets began to serve as her own canvas. Her work has been displayed in a number of cities including São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Natal, Lisbon, London and New York.

Touching on rich, Brazilian cultures, Magrela’s characters span a variety of topics: faith, the profane, ancestors, day-to-day struggles, resistance, femininity and the pursuit of a livelihood.

Diving into The Outlaw Ocean coverage, the open-air artist reflects on the scenes that had the greatest impact on her psyche.

“The excerpts that highlighted people living as slaves and in dangerous situations in the middle of the sea shocked me the most,” said Magrela. “I was also surprised by the surreal amount of fish being caught illegally by Chinese boats.”

Magrela’s mural can be found in São Paulo, Brazil and is titled “Waters Revolt.”

Media Team
The Outlaw Ocean Project
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