No excuses for graffiti
We can state that graffiti is found worldwide and has existed since man could hold an implement in his hand to draw, but it's no excuse for the spoiling of buildings and other people's property that exists today.
Even when colourful and striking, graffiti unless drawn with the permission of the owner is vandalism and illegal.
The age old argument is always used to support graffiti, in that it's art, but if you would care to ask people to open their doors and invite graffiti artists round for a session of creativity, you're unlikley to get any accepting your offer. Our ambiguity about graffiti does not help the situation; most of us are either unsure, think it's a form of art or don't care either way as long as it does not affect us personally.
What people need is knowledge of the degree to which is does affect them personally, and their lack of choice in the matter. If anyone considers the cost of graffiti to them personally they would soon start changing their view.
The majority are in favour of art
Most of us like to think that we support the arts and all that entails. Phrases such as 'creativity', 'self-expression' , 'imagination', 'urban art', and 'street art' soon begin to be bandied about in the camp of the liberals. Let me state emphatically that I am 100% in favour of all these terms. What I am opposed to 100% is anything daubed on any wall or surface by individuals who do not own that wall or do not have permission to do so.
- Graffiti on a wall where it is permitted as part of a community project is fine.
- A mural mutually agreed by the artist and property owner is wonderful.
- Kids practicing their graffiti style lettering on paper and canvas is great.
I would be delighted if lamp posts were psychedelic colours or murals brightened up street corners, but for goodness sake, let's do it together, in agreement and for the sake of real art.
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Tackle anti-social graffiti as a community
Communities can tackle problem graffiti in their neighbourhood through awareness raising, education and ensuring that young people have positive outlets for their creative energy. An anti-graffiti strategy cleans up any occurrences of graffiti efficiently and acts as a deterrent in itself because who in their right mind will spend their own money on paint that is washed off within 24 or 48 hours. It's a thankless task for both the community and the graffiti artist.
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