Serge Kortenbroek Brings Sea Creatures To Life In The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project, Created by Journalist Ian Urbina

Muralist Serge Kortenbroek Painting

Serge Kortenbroek’s mural can be found in The Hague, the Netherlands and is called “Spacewhale” and is part of The Outlaw Ocean mural Project, created by Ian Urbina

I think that art and journalism complement one another. Art can stimulate people’s interest in a topic. Journalism delves deeper into the subject and explains it.”

— Serge Kortenbroek, The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, May 25, 2023/ — In a video about his art, the muralist known as “Serge” explains why he joined forces with investigative reporter Ian Urbina to draw attention to human rights and environmental abuses at sea within The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project.

A global effort to disseminate investigative journalism about human exploitation and labor crimes at sea, the project brings together painters from around the world to leverage public creativity with a cause. These paintings are based on the groundbreaking reporting produced by a small, non-profit news outlet based in Washington, D.C., The Outlaw Ocean Project. The organization exposes the urgent problems happening on the earth’s oceans including sea slavery, arms trafficking, the climate crisis and overfishing.

What makes The Outlaw Ocean Project a distinct news organization is three-fold. First, the reporting focuses on the more than 50 million people who work in a realm that covers over two thirds of the planet, but whose stories are rarely told. Second, the news-gathering is funded directly by readers and foundations so that the stories can be published for free in over a half dozen languages and more than three dozen countries, which gives it wide impact. Third, the journalism is targeted toward non-news platforms and a younger and more international audience by converting these stories into art. In turn, individuals are able to connect with the issues on a more visceral level.

The Outlaw Ocean Mural Project is part of this innovation and offers a communal display of nontraditional journalism with unmatched effectiveness.

Serge Kortenbroek is a self-taught artist from Delft, the Netherlands. He started as a graffiti artist in the city of Zoetermeer, where there was an active graffiti scene.

After a couple of years away from painting, Kortenbroek started sketching again. The surreal characters in his paintings are based on existing creatures and animals, often presented with some science fiction elements added.

Inspired by the range of stories and issues raised by The Outlaw Ocean, Kortenbroek let his imagination soar, which, he emphasized, “gave me total freedom to express myself in clear, illustrated images.”

Serge Kortenbroek’s mural can be found in The Hague, the Netherlands and is called “Spacewhale.”

Media Team
The Outlaw Ocean Project
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