Monday, June 2, 2008
GRAFFITI: an escalating inner-city problem, or a practical outlet of expression for marginalized and frustrated urban voices? Graffiti is becoming increasingly visible, and the focus of whether the planned bylaw is reasonable or not is becoming a more and more heated debate.Graffiti is generally defined as inscriptions or pictures painted on walls in public places so as to be seen by the public. It is usually involves the spray-painting of the outsides of privately owned walls, which leads to the main problem that the general public has with graffiti. Many people think that graffiti is vandalism that has no regard or respect for the primacy of private property rights that the owners of property have. In other words, graffiti not only defaces the property but it operates as a counter to the very foundations of capitalism: private property. “How would you feel if somebody spray-painted the walls of your house?” This is a question that graffiti artists are commonly asked. The question confirms that graffiti is not only a threat to the general aesthetics of the city, but also a threat to ownership, and therefore the very economic system of our society.Graffiti often has a reputation as part of a subculture that rebels against authority, although the considerations of the practitioners often diverge and can relate to a wide range of attitudes. It can express a political practice and can form just one tool in an array of resistance techniques. One early example includes the anarchy-punk band Crass, who conducted a campaign of stenciling anti-war, anarchist, feminist and anti-consumerist messages around the London Underground system during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Dominic Allen: renowned Graffiti artist: