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Graffiti - Essay Example

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Many consider graffiti as an art while others classify it as vandalism or degradation of environment. Graffiti is a broad term and encompasses all inscriptions or drawings produced hastily by using spray cans on a wall or other surface. Graffiti is also defined as a composition of pictures or words sprayed on a wall. The word graffiti is derived from an Italian word “groffitia” meaning “scribbling” or “inscriptions made on wax tablets using a stylus”. Graffiti has been used since prehistoric times to preserve or record signifying an individual’s existence by scribbling or scratching on an enduring medium. A study of history of graffiti reveals that from Neolithic period onwards, it was a common practice for nomads to leave marks in the form of scratches or inscriptions on rocks, signifying survival and success. During the Age of Enlightenment, graffiti was used by French prisoners to express their thoughts on the imminent rebellion. Moreover, during the golden age of French literature, many famous French authors mentioned graffiti in their work. Brassai, a French photographer, produced a famous photograph essay on graffiti in 1933. Graffiti was used as a weapon by the Nazis during the Second World War. Throughout the War, Nazis scribbled hate filled words and phrases against the enemies of the Third Reich on the walls of urban buildings. Graffiti was extensively used by students and labors throughout Europe during the unrest of 1960s and 1970s. (PEREIRA, S. 2005). Graffiti is of many types. Some of the important ones are as follows: i. Gang graffiti: The graffiti used by gangs to mark their territories and to convey threats to their opponents or trespassers. ii. Tagger graffiti: This type of graffiti is composed of either high volume simple hits or highly complicated art which is inscribed on streets. iii. Conventional graffiti: Conventional graffiti is almost always associated with “youthful experience” and is mostly isolated. In addition, conventional graffiti is often spontaneous and therefore it is not associated with other crimes and disorders. iv. Ideological graffiti: Ideological graffiti is also known as hate or political graffiti and serves as a means of conveying political, racial, religious or ethnic messages. Factors associated with Graffiti: Many individuals associate the presence of graffiti with government’s failure to ensure safety of citizens and punish lawbreakers. Excruciating amounts of money are utilized by the government to remove graffiti each year. In the United States of America, approximately $12 billion are spent each year to clear graffiti. The problem of graffiti is not an isolated one and is therefore associated with other environmental crimes and disorders. (HAGAN, F. E. 2008). In most cases the following disorders are often associated with graffiti: i. Public disorders: As stated earlier, Graffiti is not an isolated problem, it is rather a problem associated with various other crimes and disorders. One such disorder is public disorder which includes loitering, littering and urination in public areas. ii. Shoplifting: Shoplifting of materials used in graffiti is a common crime in areas where graffiti is widespread. iii. Gang violence: Gangs commonly use gang graffiti to convey threats of violence in order to mark their territories and threaten citizens. iv. Property destruction: Graffiti is often related to the destruction of property such as broken windows and slashed train and bus seats. (HAGAN, F. E. 2008). Envirocrime and Graffiti: Envirocrime is a broad term and encompasses a wide variety of disorders such as littering, fly posting, fly tipping and graffiti. Envirocrimes affects the whole community and renders the attractiveness of local environment. The effects of envirocrimes on a community are devastating and such crimes not only reduce the quality of life but also lower tourist attraction. Graffiti is applied and streets are littered by a small number of individuals but such activities affect all the ...Show more
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Many consider graffiti as an art while others classify it as vandalism or degradation of environment. Graffiti is a broad term and encompasses all inscriptions or drawings produced hastily by using spray cans on a wall or other surface. …
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