According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, graffiti is “an inscription or drawing made on some public surface…a message or slogan…” As an artist, graffiti provides a platform for self-expression, in which the context of urban existence is directly informed, referenced and influenced by. As a student, graffiti was the only art form that provided representation of my community, my music, and my values. As an educator, graffiti has the potential to engage youth with familiar priorities of urban identity, agency, and navigation. I propose graffiti is a containment of identity, as defined by Margot Waddell, by allowing me to build an identity based purely on the merit of my efforts, liberating me away the marginalization of my physical identity. “Tagging is not simply an act of vandalism or violence; it is a social practice with its own rules and codes – a literacy practice imbued with intent and meaning.” – MacGillvray & Curwen
Graffiti. (n.d) In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
MacGillivray, L., & Curwen, M. S. (2007). Tagging as a Social Literacy Practice. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(5), 354-369.
Waddell, M. (1998). Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of the Personality. New York: Routledge.
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