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Muralist Julie Engelmann Sheds Light On High Seas Crime Through The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project, by Journalist Ian Urbina

Mural “For Those Without A Voice" by Julie Engelmann

Mural “For Those Without A Voice" by Julie Engelmann

Logo of The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project launched in April 2022

Logo of The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project launched in April 2022

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, April 27, 2022 / -- In a comprehensive essay, muralist Julie Engelmann 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.

Julie Engelmann is a surfer, freediver and artist based in San Mateo, California. She believes her calling is to produce beauty and inspire creative thinking and conversation.

Engelmann studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Oxford and began pursuing an art career after she realized she disliked working in lab and corporate settings. She prides herself on breaking the traditional gallery route in her career and works on a commission to commission basis. Currently, Engelmann works as an assistant painter for world-renowned graffiti artist Allison Torneros, known in the art world as “Hueman.” While working with Torneros, Engelmann also continues building her personal business.

Considering the dark dealings in the ocean world, the open-air artist contemplates what she wants her painting to achieve.

“We hear little about the horrendous human abuses and lack of law in the fishing industry. What I want the mural to convey is an emotional message without words,” said Engelmann. “I want people to ponder and question its nature and for the mural to create a window into another world.”

Engelmann’s mural for the project is located in Pacifica, California and is titled “For Those Without A Voice.”

Marcella Boehler
The Outlaw Ocean LLC
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