Graffiti can be an art form, but in most cases these turn out to be writings or drawings that are scribbled, scratched or sprayed illicitly on walls or other surfaces in public places. In most countries, marking or painting any property without the owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Graffiti is encouraged in some places where it is used legally as an art form in a productive manner. But around the world it is being used illegally as a powerful weapon against socio-political issues and to express agitation.
The picture at right shows graffiti on the walls of a very old building in Karama, Dubai.
Plaster chipped off
It may be nearly 30 years old and I noticed patches of old paint, chipped off plaster and cracks in the wall. However, people are still living there and it is their home.
The issue with graffiti is that it destroys the surface on which it’s done, it spoils a wall or an entire building and more seriously it affects the reputation of a community.
Most of the writings or drawings create a negative impression about a community.
In some places, monuments that have been kept in good condition for a long time are totally destroyed by such practices.
There are some people who scribble on buses, trains or even in public restrooms.
Spraying on signs or on important landmarks is offensive to the public.
Graffiti can also be considered a health and environment hazard as the spray paint used contains toxic chemicals like chlorofluorocarbon.
The authorities need to work against this practice and stop people from ruining the appearance of our cities.
The reader is a physiotherapist based in Dubai. Be a community reporter. Tell us what is happening in your community. Send us your videos and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org