PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The building-sized murals throughout Philadelphia tell the story of the city in pictures. But,like the city,the murals are changing with a 21st century twist. As the city evolves, so does the art.
“It captures the voice of this part of Philadelphia,” said Jane Golden, director of Mural Arts Project.
The Journeys South project uses light and sound instead of brushes and paint to portray South Philly. The traditionally Italian neighborhood is now home to many Hispanics and Asians. Samnon Mao Chan came here from Cambodia.
“Compared to being in my country,” said Samnon, “this is freedom and joy of freedom in America.”
Samnon has lived in the city for ten years, working along Passyunk Avenue, where the surrounding streets have become a mixture of languages and cultures. He is as much a part of the community as the italian market.
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“All the civilizations of the world, all the cultures of the world, come here,” beamed Samnon.
A series of steps painted on the sidewalk represent his journey and the journey of others who call this neighborhood home. Televisions in the nearby Monastero barber shop all add the to the presentation, with additional interviews and video.
Verrone Romeoletti lived in most of the city before settling here.
“I just hope it can inspire others, especially the young folk,” said Romeoletti.
The project offers a new way to look at an historic neighborhood, and the changes it is going through.
Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3