What makes us feel like we belong? Some would say respect from their family for making the decision to be a musician and pursue their dreams; for others, finding acceptance in a new place when they've been displaced from their home and transplanted elsewhere in a foreign land; for some, finding aconfidant with whom they can share their most personal secrets. A sense of belonging goes beyond just a desire; it's a basic human need that drives us.
The Belonging mural was created as part of the Art in Public Space studio at NuVu lead by Artist Shilo Shiv Suleman. Centered at the heart of Central Square in Cambridge, MA, the mural is a participatory art piece created by NuVu students and residents of Cambridge that shares the diversity of the city and its people.
Woven between the transient populations of university youth, migrant communities, cantabrigian locals and the ever imminent threat of gentrification, the river shown in the mural threads all of Boston’s diverse groups together. The mural wall sits at the threshold of Area 4 (now being renamed the Port Neighborhood), old Cambridge and MIT. The mural itself depicts a multi-racial person, with locally found flowers growing out of her chest. The Charles river weaves and snakes through her body and emerges into a 'port' of sorts. A port where one comes and docks, and is simultaneously welcoming, but also a checkpoint or threshold. In a place of so many intersections, the mural explores the question "What makes us feel like we Belong?".