An anonymous graffiti artist who goes by the moniker 'Skid Robot' is seeking to bring awareness to extreme poverty and help identify solutions to the problem.
While finances have certainly tightened for most in recent years, extreme poverty is an issue that seems to be rising – one that few are talking about. And it is the kind of concern that demands attention, as one in five people worldwide (equating to 1 in 2 children) are estimated to live in extreme poverty. If nothing is done, it will continue to escalate, and that is the fear which prompts most activists to take part in social change.
One equality advocate who whole-heartedly agrees something must be done has been creatively raising awareness in an inventive way. Going by the moniker Skid Robot, the anonymous graffiti artist goes around Los Angelos’ skid row with a spray can and paints imaginary homes for the destitute. Their intention? To get people to talk about extreme poverty and help find solutions for it.
But that’s not the extent of Skid Robot’s activism: in an interview with BoredPanda, the anonymous artist shared other ways they’re helping the homeless during the day, what they hope results from their activism, and insight into the lives of those who live without day-to-day security.
On LA’s Skid Row, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 homeless people make their disposable, makeshift homes right on the streets. The artist stops to talk to most of the homeless people they meet; “Most conversations are about who they are and where they are from. I ask about what life is like for them on Skid Row and if there is anything I can do to help.“
When asked what other ways the artist works with the homeless, they explained, “I volunteer my time once a week at a homeless center hosting an art group for a couple of hours trying to convince those who attend that art truly is the best drug. Which it is, there is no greater high that one can feel then exercising the creative mind.”
Every individual the graffiti artist comes across receives a care package and is talked to if awake. Skid Robot explained that the care packages contain “snacks, toiletries, water, socks, underwear, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush. We try to provide as much as we can based on donations and what we can afford.“
And every project is shared on Instagram to reach an even broader audience. Part of what is done might seem whimsical, but the easy-to-follow work shows how harsh homelessness can be to many.
“I inquire if getting sober is something they would like to do, I offer them an invitation to the art group in hopes they show and make an effort to get clean. I mention to them what the overall goal of the project is.“
“They are for the majority supportive of the project and give me best wishes in succeeding. Its not often I get someone who is overly pessimistic.”