To the Editor,
Re: Forum aims to get grip on graffiti, May 21.
In the recent story on graffiti, RCMP Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong was quoted as saying that she can “appreciate that it’s an art form”.
While there are vibrant communities of graffiti artists in cities around the world, there is a big difference between artists displaying their work legally, and taggers that cover private and public buildings with gang signs, random squiggles and profanities.
Over the last few decades graffiti art has been a way for people to promote feminist, anti-war and anti-consumerism ideas.
In Australia and Taiwan the governments have designated some public spaces and construction zones as ‘graffiti zones’, exclusively for use by graffiti artists.
There is also the culture jamming movement called subvertising (subverting advertising) and ‘billboard liberation’.
I’m not going to publicly support the vandalism of property, but I do want people to consider that we as a society allow corporations to fill up our city with billboard ads for their products and services, cluttering our mental environment.
For those of us living in poverty, these intrusive and often offensive ads are not only an eyesore, but they are irrelevant as well.
As long as there are marginalized people left without a voice, there will be graffiti.
People will cover public and private property with their art or message without permission.
We could be proactive and try to solve the problem by providing designated graffiti spaces, reducing costs for graffiti removal.
What do you think? Give us your comments by fax at 250-753-0788 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to spell out your first and last names.