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Buffalo artist reimagining 'crime dots' with 'peace dots', creating visual of City of Good Neighbors

Social practice artist, Saira Siddiqui
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 18:32:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A growing community-based art project needs the help of the City of Good Neighbors to carry out its mission.

The Peace Dots Project is collecting moments of peace, or random acts of kindness, the community has experienced around around the Queen City. It is being tracked on a map.

The group's inspiration came from maps that traditionally track crime scenes.

Social practice artist, Saira Siddiqui wanted to reimagine "crime dots" with "peace dots."

In the end, she will have a visual representation of the City of Good Neighbors.

In light of the darkness that "5/14" brought onto the Queen City, Siddiqui, a Buffalo artist, is on a mission to shift Buffalo's focus by highlighting the good that comes out of the city.

Siddiqui said, "It allows people to think about positive framing, rather than thinking about the traditional negative framing. That's so prevalent right now."

She is an urban planner by day, along with balancing the demands as a grad student. She is currently a Multidisciplinary Masters Candidate, studying in both the MFA Department at University at Buffalo, and the Creative Studies Department at Buffalo State College.

Siddiqui said, "We are always mapping data. We are taking hard data about crime, health and wealth disparities. One day, I thought, 'why are we mapping these disparities. Where are all the peace dots at?'"

Her artistic brain began to kick into gear. Thus, The Peace Dots Project was born.

How does it work?

  • Find a live location.
  • Funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, there is an installations can be found on 1215 Niagara Street, in partnership with Stitch Buffalo; the Broadway Market on 999 Broadway (set to launch on Saturday); and the Explore & More - The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum, in Downtown Buffalo.
  • Each location has a dot and a map to place the dots on.
  • Each spot also has a submission box, which includes index cards and writing utensils for you to describe what the random act of kindness was, whether it happened to you or by you.

Siddiqui said, "You can go to any of those locations and submit your dot. You can also go to the website: www.peaceprojects.com and submit your projects and submit your dot that way, or submit your random act of kindness that way."

On the Peace Projects website, the map comes to life showcasing dots from not only Buffalo, across the nation.

Siddiqui said, "It starts to change the narrative. It starts to allow people to really focus on the positivity, on the random acts of kindness, on the things that happen on the day-to-day. Things a little as a smile from a child or someone helping you cross the street."

The deadline to submit random acts of kindness is on September 30.

There have been 50 submissions so far.

Follow along in the The Peace Dots Project's next mission on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.