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Cláudia Tostes Captures The Contradictions Of The Sea on The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project,Created by Journalist Ian Urbina

White wall with the words The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project painted in black and clear blue water drops painted around it

Mural by Claudia Tostes in São Paulo, Brazil, for The Outlaw Ocean Project

Artist Claudia Tostes, wearing black, is in crouching position. She holds a drawing with a draft of the mural. She is in front of a mural of the sea, showcasing plants and corals on the bottom in different shades of green and red, floating over it is a la

Cláudia Tostes’ mural, “Life on the High Seas,” can be found in São Paulo, Brazil.

Artist Claudia Tostes on a stepladder in the middle of painting a whale on a wall painted blue.

Claudia Tostes in the process of painting her mural for The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project

The combination of journalism and art is an effective one, as journalism is essential in the creative process through the story it has to tell, whether good or bad.”
— Cláudia Tostes, The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project
SAO PAULO, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, July 22, 2022 / -- In a poignant video essay about her artistic process and influences, muralist Cláudia Tostes explains why she 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 a wide impact. Third, the journalism is also 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.

Cláudia Tostes is an artist originally from Minas Gerais, who currently lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. An artist focused on environmental issues, she takes pride in painting living things in nature, including animals, foliage and plants. She has studied human behavior and has honed in on the expressiveness of art as a powerful mode of communication.

In her artistry, Tostes utilizes new and recycled textures, canvas, fabric and wood. Envisioning a brighter world in her art, Tostes breaks through the gray of a hostile urban environment and channels her attentiveness to and affection for the natural world all around us.

Commenting on her collaboration with Urbina, Tostes voices her desire to depict the complexities of the expansive, ocean realm.

“I expressed the emotions the book inspired through raw, colorful images,” said Tostes. “The challenge was striking a balance between showing the beauty of the sea, while also revealing the sea’s tragedies.”

Cláudia Tostes’ mural, “Life on the High Seas,” can be found in São Paulo, Brazil.

Media Team
The Outlaw Ocean Project
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