Street Artist Offers Hope And Peace To Torontonians

Poster by Christiano De Araujo, a street artist in Toronto. Photo: Joyce Grant

The poster says “take what you need.”

It’s common to see such posters on bulletin boards or telephone poles, advertising items for sale or inquiring about lost pets.

Normally, the rip-off tags would be a phone number or an address where you could buy the item.

But this poster offers “PEACE” and “LOVE” and “HEALING.” People can choose the one that they “need” and keep it, perhaps for inspiration throughout the day.

Christiano De Araujo lives in Toronto, Ontario; he calls himself a street artist and says “my job is to inspire pedestrians–and give them a laugh.”

But he may be doing more than that, especially now when world events often seem to be chaotic. He may be changing people’s moods, if only for a moment, in a positive way.

Araujo, who normally does street paintings, has put hundreds of posters up around Toronto, some of them with different messages. Some of his posters offer “free strips of paper” or let people take “a break.”

“We need to laugh and have fun,” he says. De Araujo says his project will continue–he has “more coming up,” he said.

(*This article was updated, with a bit more information about De Araujo’s other posters, and a second image, on Feb. 14, 2017.)

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Everything that the poster offers can’t be purchased at a store. Pick one of them and explain how you get it in your life. For example, if you pick “love”, explain when you feel love, where it comes from, and what love feels like.

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
The poster offers “peace”, “love”, “healing” etc. As the article explains, Araujo may have created these posters in response to the challenging world events that are currently taking pl
ace. What else could the poster offer (other than love, peace and healing etc.) to help people feel better?

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME: Reading, 1.8).

Language Feature: Word Choice
The poster explains that people should “Take What They Need.” Why do you think the artist chose the word need instead of want?