It’s about time I wrote something about graffiti in Athens. There have been so many cool articles about it already, that it seems kind of redundant – yet, I felt like writing something about a new and very controversial graffiti which appeared on the Polytechnic University recently.
Just to give a brief background, the graffiti scene in Athens has become bigger and bigger in recent years. As I have met a few graffiti artists in Athens, I feel a little closer to the whole scene. But it’s not like graffiti is a new thing – far from it. There was graffiti in ancient times, and apparently graffiti was used in the 1930s to convey secret messages. After all, the word “graffiti” comes from a Greek word…
In my personal opinion, modern graffiti is a great addition to urbanscapes. It adds colour to the city, and gives an artistic touch. That said, not all graffiti is nice, and not all graffiti artists are talented. I personally dislike the so called “tagging”, irrespective of the message it conveys – obviously some mottos are clever, but still I don’t like what I personally classify as a smudge. Besides, much of the tagging is all about the person’s name, and I personally can’t see how this could convey an important message.
When the news broke out about a huge graffiti that covered the Polytechnic University, I knew that was something I had to go and see. Before going, I read a few articles with different people’s opinions – some people liked it, some people hated it.
And there I was, standing in front of it. Woah!
My first reactions – big, ugly, a “smudge”, “how the hell did they make it”.
My later reactions… Well – it’s not like I am an expert on social movement media. BUT, although I can clearly see the signification of such a massive graffiti on one of the most important buildings of Athens’ modern history (we are talking about the Polytechnic University after all!), I disagree with this particular building being “vandalised”. Plus, this “smudge” would have looked much better on a different type of building – like a word-down building falling to pieces. But then… the “message” wouldn’t have been the same.
For some academic views, you can check out pages 408-412 of this report 🙂