Leftist Coloring Pages

A friend of mine recently asked me to contribute some work to a coloring book she was putting together to have available at some speaking events she’s doing. She told me to just draw whatever I felt like. I was very grateful for the opportunity to be included, and I decided to do a series of more radical illustrations that highlight some of the larger issues with capitalism, racism, sexism, and other hierarchical forms of oppression in this world. The illustrations aren’t intended to make people feel bad, but rather to help them feel connected to their fellow humans and to the planet we share, and help them find a peaceful place as they color so that they can come back fresh to fight the good fight. Sometimes it’s hard not to internalize all the bad things that exist, but that isn’t what these images are about. It’s to remind and inspire us to reach past the forces holding us down, for a better existence.

This page is an illustration of teenage Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, and it includes her address in prison so that people can write to her. She stood up to occupying soldiers when they came to remove her and her family from their homes, and has been in prison ever since.

This coloring page depicts a gay Chechen couple, and (according to the translation I looked up) says “Remember” in Chechen. The Chechen government has been trying to put all LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya into concentration camps. Not only does this impact people in Chechnya, but it’s also a reminder of why we need to stay vigilant against these types of attitudes where ever we are. Remember. 
Cyntoia Brown is depicted here in kind of a shrine, as a saint. I’m someone who grew up with a lot of personal and family shrines around, and it felt fitting to honor her in this way. Cyntoia is in prison (her address is included for those who wish to write to her) for killing her r*pist and abuser. 
This coloring page depicts recently assassinated Brazilian activist Marielle Franco. She was an advocate for those who lived in the worst poverty, for Black folx, queer people, and a socialist who stood up against police violence. 
I chose to do this coloring page due to the rising rates of homelessness in the US and around the world. In some US cities alone, the rates have risen over 25% in just a year. 
I’m an anarchist and I believe in open borders. I chose to illustrate groups here who are impacted by the idea that only certain people are allowed, and who are are impacted when it’s possible for someone else to come to power and snatch away their right to be in that group who is allowed. These are people who are part of mass migrations, who have been faced with deportations, genocide, and have become refugees. If we look at what it means to be human though, these are situations that should never exist. I specifically represented Kurdish people, Rohingyans, and Latin American people, but there are so many more people around the world who could be represented.
It’s difficult to exist in our consumer culture being given messages to buy new things, as well as having companies specifically design products to fall apart quickly so we will have to buy new things. Minimizing our consumption can become a large mental task. It isn’t just about the latest catch phrases and fads of Zero Waste though. It’s about the ecological cost of the things we use. It’s about where those things come from, and that people happen to live there. Is our comfort worth the exploitation of others?

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Ariel Shultz

artist, educator, environmentalist, sailor