Graffiti is Art

The dictionary defines graffiti as something so simple and understated. “Writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.”  That graffiti is comparable to a scratch on a table at the local Chinese restaurant. Yet when art is defined you understand the beauty of its purpose and its place in this world. “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”. When I read that personally, I think of all the graffiti I have ever seen. That in every piece of work there is an emotional power that overcomes me.
Not every piece of graffiti is going to be some form of tagging or gang related. Sometimes it’s put out there where everyone can see so that it makes you think. Often in my old history in high school, we went over what the comics from the cold war meant. That they were some piece of art that was to make you laugh but there was also a deeper mean that was true. To see the meaning, you had to look longer than just a quick glance. Graffiti is the same way. One of my favorite pieces is in Chicago. It’s a beautiful piece of art that blends the cultures of women in Chicago. Together we are stronger.
As you take a deeper look you see the stereotypes of each woman. The oppression that their culture has placed on them. Take one more look though. The piece is only outlining what has made them strong and what has brought them to be. There is no definition of women that will explain us all but here you see the wrinkles that brought wisdom to all generations to come, the color the brings expressions of the heart, and the power that created women with a voice.
Now the typical everyday graffiti still has its story. Somewhere out there someone is fighting for their constitutional right of expression without fear of repercussions. Just as everyone else we all want our place in this world. We want to be heard and expressed. Some people use social media, some use their voice, and other use art. Try some graffiti of your own and feel the confidence it brings. Graffiti is art.

What to Expect at the Women’s March

Two hundred thousand people are anticipated at the Women’s March on Washington Saturday. Among those attending are a slew of celebrities and well-known human rights activists. Amy Schumer, Jessica Valenti, Zendaya, Debrah Messing, and Jane Levy are expected to be there, along with Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Diane Guerrero, and Lea DeLaria from the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. The activists plan to gather at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street before the march begins at ten. Anyone planning to join will be expected to abide by the rules outlined on the organizer’s website. All bags will be subject to search, and there will be restrictions on the types of bags and signs that will be allowed. The aim of the march is to send a message to the incoming administration that “women’s rights are human rights,” and to unify all marginalized communities in order “to create change from the grassroots level up.” Speakers include leading women’s rights advocates Angela Davis and Gloria Steinham, filmmaker Michael Moore, actress Scarlett Johanson and the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner and Jordan Davis, four African-American men who died at the hands of police officers. Although the march in DC may be the biggest, there are also over six hundred sister marches occurring simultaneously in cities around the US and across the globe, making this possibly the largest world-wide demonstration in history.

C. McLaughlin