What's Going On?

Huge Brixton mural celebrates the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’

The stunning 16-foot piece mural, placed next to the police station on Canterbury Crescent, pays homage to the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Brixton Uprising – a watershed moment for race relations in the UK.

Growing tensions around racial inequality erupted into violent clashes between the predominantly Black youth of Brixton and the Metropolitan police force.
The uprising was sparked by the same police violence and injustice that Marvin Gaye sang about in What’s Going On. The riots took place over three days, devastating the community and injuring over 300 people.
Dreph’s art represents the musical message of What’s Going On, which still held its significance amongst police brutality and racial inequality in 1981 and continues to encourage today’s social justice movement.
The picket signs reference the lyrics from the title track and words taken from the album’s song titles within the piece. The symbols represent contemporary movements campaigning to address the climate crisis, gender inequality, and world peace.
Created on May 21, 2021
International House, London SW9 7QE, UK
Hunted by Tim Marschang.

Marker details

Camera usedOnePlus IN2023
Date created2021-05-21T00:00:00.000Z
Marker typeartwork
CountryUnited Kingdom