People have been painting and writing on walls throughout history. In prehistoric times, people in Africa and Europe used to paint pictures of animals and people in caves. Graffiti has been found on buildings at ancient sites in Greece, Italy, Syria and Iraq. In the Roman town of Pompeii, archaeologists have found numerous examples of graffiti written in Latin. These include religious, political and romantic messages, and even some magic spells!
Street Art has been defined as a movement or an art form. As with other forms of artistic expression, the artist illustrates his own political views, feelings and emotions, but he/she does so by
exposing them in the street, for everybody to enjoy and reflect upon. In some countries, writing or painting on walls is a crime. Sometimes, graffiti artists have problems with the police. In
some countries, artists can draw and paint in certain places. For example, in Taiwan, there are 'graffiti zones' where artists can paint on walls. In São Paulo in Brazil, street artists can paint
pictures on walls and houses. Their pictures are colourful and beautiful. Some tourists visit São Paulo just to see the street art! Graffiti and Street Art are not the same.Graffiti (left) is
word-based, whereas Street Art (right) is image-based.
Both are subversive art movements where work is displayed in public rather than a gallery setting. While graffiti artists place their work in public, generally speaking they are not interested in the public understanding their work; they want to speak to other graffiti artists. Street artists want everyone to view and be engaged by their work. They are trying to make a statement.
While many European countries are building or are planning to build walls at their borders to stop the arrival of refugees and migrants,we call for integration and peace! Our answer to building walls is to use the wall to say the contrary, our answer is “Street Art”!