Kia ora Heather and Billy
Street art is a scene of struggle between the cultural and political voice of ‘the people’, ie the urban working class, and the parasitic interests of business. This struggle is generally one-sided. The police are firmly on the side of property, not people, as is the media – witness the coverage of the atrocious murder of Pihema Cameron by businessman Bruce Emery in South Auckland.
Tagging fills in empty spaces and, while ugly in its early stages, by some gentle kind of natural selection, evolves and blossoms into magnificent public art.
The reason business owners and property-minded people dislike tagging is that it is advertising but neither buying nor selling. They are purely cultural statements.
This is not abstract art-geek talk. Political activists such as myself and my comrades find ourselves with an increasing restricted physical space to put across ideas that owe everything to the interests of working people and students and nothing to commercial and establishment interests.
Postering is democratic. It’s cheap but it requires volunteers who can argue the ideas one on one on the street – not just say ‘I don’t know mate, I’m just doing my job.’
On that note – Phantom (previously COA) is a tool in this corporate clean up of the streets and this is the underlying reasons for this speech. Those of us who value free, anarchic, democratic public spaces may need to loosely coordinate a response to this and other clampdowns in the near future.
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Hey socialist, cheers for the coments, always good to hear from the whole spectrum of our community. Maybe some public walls designated for street art, as they have in other countries would work well here, especially with the student population in our town. They would then be able to vent their political opinions freely and democratically. I really dont believe that too many taggers have much of a clue about politics though, it’s really just the young male of our species marking his territory in the only way known to him. Maybe that is sign of the society we live in but hey, thats just my opinion. Their is however, some great artistic work with huge political flavour, wee bit different I think.
Please keep the debate going, communication is the key to understanding each others opinions and meeting somewhere in the middle.