Taking my walk in Chinatown this morning,
I got up close to read the sign, which said the South Cove Community Health Center Tobacco Control Project that had created the mural in 1998. The Boston Youth Fund site adds more: “This mural was commissioned by the South Cove Health Center as part of their antismoking campaign. It was funded in part by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The mural depicts the path to a healthy lifestyle from cigarette addiction.”
Your eyes are drawn to the Buddha-like figure in the center and the yin/yang symbol, but if you look more closely, there are giant cigarettes throughout the scene. This photographer got sharper pictures.
Much as I love projects like this, I do wonder if they meet their intended goals. Did more people quit smoking? How about the people who created the mural? Was the goal to have youth working on something constructive? Did they continue to be constructive in their lives?
I remember when the storekeepers in my hometown were worried about getting their windows soaped on Mischief Night. They decided to partner with the school to have young people create nice window paintings for them at Halloween. I was one of those kids. Did that prevent store windows from getting soaped? Little Miss Goody Two Shoes would no more have done mischief on Mischief Night than have flown to the moon. The initiative may not have hit the intended target.