In 2002 for one of my oral presentations in high school, which I was to be graded on over numerous point scales for my VCE (Victorian certificate of Education, Australia), we were to pick a topic, an issue, argue either for or against and have a great scale of either to really justify why you believe in this or think that this or that should be happening or not happening.. or whatever. The topics were pretty broad, people were spilling their heart and sole over cricket this and that.. My topic was Graffiti.
I think at the time, the local Melbourne government was appointing $1.5 Million dollars annually, into the “Clean Off Graffiti” fund. Prior to the Commonwealth Games, the city of Melbourne introduced a $1m fund to clean off or rather, paint over, the “vandalism” along the train lines – because you know, rather than having extremely talented murals, people come to Melbourne want to see black, gray, boring walls.Oh and forget about the thought that the money could well be spent elsewhere, homing the homeless perhaps, or any of the other thousands of problems more important..
At the time, I was so angry at the thought of Graffiti being painted over by councils, and that so much money is being poured into the seemingly “censorship” of one of the most creative art forms in the world (This is in my opinion, by the way.., I know some of my friends might contest this.. but you try and do what they do with a can..).
I wrote about 8 pages of hatred during the preparation of this oral presentation that by the time I was up in front of of the teachers who would be grading me, twenty or so fellow students, I was pretty much yelling at them all of my beliefs and ideas of why the government should be supporting the artform of Street art, especially in such a cultured place, such as Melbourne. In short, the teachers graded me highly, I think they may have been a little bit frightened about how passionate I was for the topic – I still am very passionate about this whole deal and would really like to see the world flip a little in their opinions of Graffiti, but whatever I guess – It’s certainly a topic that I think you swing one way or anything, there’s not much middle ground to sit on.
Anyway, I started writing all of this as a little introduction to a site that I’d like for you to take the time to look through and see the talent that’s wide spread around the city. It’s This is Vandalism. – please have a look.
Below is a post that I think is very important. (Taken from This is Vandalism)
“Painting insides on a window is one thing – pulling down a whole art deco building just so you can widen one of Melbourne’s historic lanes to get bigger trucks to deliver more shit to Myer is another. Not to mention the piece of shit building they are putting up in it’s place with a giant TV screen on the ouside.
Because if there is one thing people need is more TV right? Fucking hell.
Just goes to prove that the people who talk about graffiti ruining this city don’t really get it, real vandalism is destroying your cities history, not painting on it.
Nokia and Mine holding it down on the building in question.” – This is Vandalism.
Just something to think about, I guess.