Sunday, July 21, 2024

Graffiti – A ray of hope and a voice for the mute

Written By Anvvi Singhi (Grade 8)

“Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint.” ― Banksy, Wall and Piece

A can of paint. It is just a mere artistic tool, isn’t it? It may seem nothing to you, it may seem nothing to me, but it is everything to an artist with their hopes, dreams and sometimes even their money, pinned to a small tin container.

A form of art which highly fascinated and intrigued me is that of graffiti. The moment people come across the word ‘Graffiti’, vandalism is the first word that grasps their minds. But graffiti carries a deeper meaning. It is a symbol, a representation of the artist’s struggle, identity and beliefs. The literal definition of graffiti is an artwork crafted on a public surface, like a wall or a rock. In a world where people neglect contemporary forms of art but marvel antique showpieces and paintings, graffiti is the exception, an exception which is not always welcome. Contrary to popular mindset, graffiti does not just comprise drawings, but words too. A point of grave concern is that graffiti artists, are still ostracized by society and are given the title of ‘Vandals’.

Individuals keep on going about rights of freedom of speech and expression, but neglect graffiti? It too advocates for the same rights, the same beliefs with a more artistic approach. A famous graffiti artist who stood against all odds is Shamsia Hassani, a young artist from Afghanistan, whose work reflected her beliefs of feminism and non-violence.

Sometimes, in times of crisis when people’s voices are suppressed, the only ray of hope is a can of paint and a bare wall. In a way graffiti is the voice of the mute, letting them convey their messages without saying a single word, sometimes letting people campaign for an important cause, climate change for example. Graffiti is not just scribbled words or rushed drawings on a wall, it is the product of people’s voices, voices which are mute to the outside world. A more elaborate example of this would be the Berlin Wall Crisis. The Berlin wall, which separated Berlin into East and West during the cold war, became a major canvas for the people to express social and political messages.

Graffiti has inspired me in more ways than I could ever imagine. It has encouraged me to raise my voice, to express my views with out any regrets or fear of disapproval. It has taught me to stand by my beliefs and my ideals. It has also convinced me that art is not just paint on a canvas, but another person’s voice. It has shown me that art is capable of spreading meaningful messages.

Although I agree, that vandalism of any public property or monument is never justified and that people often misuse this precious right, the right of expression, it cannot be denied that graffiti certainly has changed the world’s perspective, showing it that campaigns can be created, messages can be sent and problems can be solved, just with a can of spray paint and a bare white wall!

Featured Image Courtesy – Graff Storm

Anvvi Singhi
Anvvi Singhi
I currently reside in Delhi and study at Vasant Valley School. I am 13 years old, with my interests lying in poetry, reading, writing and quizzing. I have also participated in many writing competitions, like the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition in which I was awarded with a Bronze Award, along with other quizzing competitions. With a keen interest in journalism, I am fond of writing and delivering speeches.


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