Above – Blood diamond

Above – Blood diamond

By Arden de Raaij

World-citizen and international street-artist Above never fails to get our attention. Over the years we came to learn that Above is far more than the arrow pointing upwards; he also points his arrows at the crazy mishaps taking place on this globe, and on a global scale. During his current stay in South-Africa he has made a point on blood-diamonds... and how! He hijacked a 100 meter wall from a diamond trading center telling them he'd paint the phrase 'Diamond are a woman's best friend', as he did. Little did they know he made a 'little' addition to these words to let the world know how good a friend diamonds really are:

'Diamonds are a womans best friend'
'Diamonds are a womans best friend'

"Africa has had a devastating history of blood diamond wars. Blood diamond refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and then sold to finance an invading army's war efforts, usually in Africa where more than two-thirds of the worlds diamonds are extracted.

'Diamonds are a womans best friend'
'Diamonds are a womans best friend'

This site specific social / political word play was painted on the exterior wall of Johannesburg's largest diamond trader Jewel City. Jewel City is a six-block mega-precinct that serves as a base for some 300 diamond traders as well as South Africa’s Diamond Board and State Traders Association. Jewel City is the largest diamond exporter in the southern hemisphere with over R7-Billion worth of Diamonds being exported every year. I was able to get away with this diamond wall heist because I told the owners I would paint in big letters "Diamonds are a woman's best friend" on the exterior of their building. The owners loved the idea and all quickly agreed.

'.. And a man's worst enemy'
'.. And a man's worst enemy'

The next day I had started painting but what the owners didn't know is that I lied to them and was hijacking their wall. Like any premeditated robbery, situations are not what they seem and shit can flip from best friends to worst enemies in a few moments. 

I assume the owners were too busy trading diamonds inside the mega center they never took the time to come out and see I was painting a controversial word play about the diamond trade and how it's fueled so much bloodshed in wars making it one of man's worst enemies."

reflection
reflection