Recovery Diaspora

  • "Recovery Diaspora" was temporarily installed on the famed Bowery Mural wall. Photo credit Randy Duchaine.
  • In the mural, the return of the A train signals the resilience of the Rockaways.
  • Youth artists pose with Caledonia "Swoon" Curry in front of the completed artwork.
  • The dedication event was attended by artists, youth, and members of the press.
  • Remarks from Executive Director Amy Sananman highlighted the need for ongoing recovery support for victims of Superstorm Sandy.
  • A detail from the mural illustrating the impact of this devastating storm on Red Hook and Coney Island.
We Rose Above: Healing Communities Through Public Art

Project Description

"Recovery Diaspora," located on the famed Bowery Mural wall, is the capstone mural created as part of the Recovery Diaspora series, a collaborative citywide public art installation developed by Swoon, together with youth from neighborhoods deeply impacted by Superstorm Sandy. 


In summer 2013, teen artists worked in collaboration with renowned street artist Swoon and  Groundswell muralists Yana Dimitrova, Angel Garcia, Jazmine Hayes, and Misha Tyutunik to create four permanent murals for Coney Island, Far Rockaway, Red Hook, and Staten Island. Youth artists drew from stories of healing and recovery to create a visual narrative that captures the concerns, hopes, and overall spirit of these communities. 


"Recovery Diaspora" illustrates the vision and optimism of these young people. The mural's central figure is Thalassa, a goddess from Greek mythology known as the mother of all sea creatures. An elementary school, which acted as a shelter in the Rockaways, shines in the form of a lighthouse. An octopus fails to drown Red Hook underwater thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers from across the nation. A mermaid comforts Coney Island while a heart contains healing for the lost children of Staten Island. 


Scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the storm, "Recovery Diaspora" is a testament to both resilience and vulnerability, and by engaging the public in its design, it serves to highlight the importance of continued relief efforts by and for Sandy's victims. 


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Project Info

Location: Bowery and Houston New York, NY 10002
Community Commission



Goldman Properties

Lead Artist(s):

Co-Lead Artist(s):
Yana Dimitrova
Misha Tyutyunik

Assistant Artist(s):
Angel Garcia
Jazmine Hayes



Acrylic on Wall

Dimensions: 20 x 66ft

Fun Facts

Through the Konbit Shelter Project, Swoon partnered with urban planners, designers, architects, and community leaders on a sustainable building project assisting Haitians who lost their homes in the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Swoon’s prints and paper cutouts take inspiration from the German Expressionists of the early twentieth century as well as Indonesian shadow puppetry.
According to New York Magazine in October of 2013, a reported 22,000 households are still displaced by Superstorm Sandy.