Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Give peace (and graffing) a chance

I wanted to try to carry on the great work that McR Marks has done, and catalogue the graffing and tagging around the city's streets. I'm starting with Rusholme, as it's the way I walk home from work. I have to say, the effect of negative publicity about these areas from London and the non-regional media is shocking. At first, when I was posted to Moss Side by my temping agency, I was genuinely afraid. The image you get from old stereotypes. Wondering if you'll be stabbed by 5-year old crackheads for spare change.

I'm not saying it's paradise, but most people outside the area seem to think it's Paradise Lost and Moss Side residents are the devil's ruling class. Sadly, it made me scared to work in Moss Side. But there's a lot of good people, and a lot of beauty in these streets. And that's where graffiti comes in.

When most people think of graffiti, this is what they see. Vandalism, territorialism and ugly self-promotion.

The aggressive tagging of your name on a door, a wall, a bridge. That's not what we're here for. The official line amongst local police is still one of criminal damage, that it's an anti-social tendency. But all it takes is a stencil graf to cheer you up and break up the suburban uniformity, like this wicked little "Ideal", on an ugly green comms box on Yew Tree Road.

Cool kitty-kat stencils in Rusholme:

More on graffing in Manchester to come shortly.

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