Staffan Jacobson – författare, konstnär och frihetlig socialist i Lund.
Political graffiti (TG) Has been around since the Greek and Roman antiquity. In Pompeii (79 A.D.) there were lots of political inscriptions for and against the rulers of the city, and during elections there were paid muralists who wrote flattering things about the mayor candidates with a brush on the wall, s.c. dipinti. Wars and revolutions increased the political graffiti, and from the French Revolution and on this was frequent. The russian anarchist Michail Bakunin wrote on the walls of the stock market building in Zürich, 1853, with capital letters, ”Kein Gott, Kein Staat, Kein Sklave!” (No God, No State, No slaves!) In the May 1968 Paris events political graffiti was everywhere, proclaiming another society and a different life, radical demands and beautiful poetry, as “Under the pavement, the beach” and “Fantasy to power!”. USA, England, Scandinavia, Germany and Italy (Rome was all tagged out) had a great deal of this graffiti during the Vietnam War and in the 1970:s, and Ireland, Nicaraqua, Chile, Cuba and the Middle East (since the Intifada) still have, as other conflict areas or countries. The content is most often left wing, Islamic or anarchist. Sometimes racism unfortunately also appears, but so do antifascist messages e.g. ”This is a nazi free zone”. Local opinions could possibly be perceived on the walls more sensitively then in the media. And no censor! Below a sample of pieces found mostly on the net, from Afghanistan, USA, Europe and worldwide, a few situationist quotes and even some of Banksys excellent art.
”Padova Nazi Free Zone”, this BZ-graffiti gave my heart an extra beat – in my home town Lund in Sweden there was a parallell text; each and every town on the face of Earth should be – nazi free! OK?
”Beneath the paving stones, the beach”; ”Under gatstenarna ligger en sandstrand” är en översättning från franska på det sv/v fotot från majrevoltens Paris 1968 ovan t.h.
Texten på bilden över t.h. lyder: ”Most homeless people have moved on, but their problems haven’t gone away”. Jag gillar Noveau Frisco-stilen, de böljande hopträngda bokstäverna, lika mycket som budskapet. Skitbra helt enkelt. Så ska konst fungera!
Raising the McDonald flag (up left)…and erasing cave art (down below). An Afghanistan female writer (bottom left).
Banksy, who seemingly is an idealist and socialist, is fighting the gallery art worlds’ commercializing of his free and generous work. We hope he will succeed. It would be better if the body of graffiti (political too) – and not just some individual – was mentioned in the official Art catalogue…or maybe if graffiti superceeded Fine Art! To me, this is already happening. Graffiti can survive both inside and outside Fine Art , underground and overground at the same time. So, graffiti can’t be stopped. It’s been around since the stone age and will last as long as humanity.
…says it all, doesn’t it?