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Transcript of Graffiti
How has graffiti throughout the African diaspora been a shaping force in the development of community psychology toward political education and black aesthetics as a response to social issues? Graffiti:
Throughout the African diaspora
& Continental Africa “Artists do not create the tensions and conflicts in society; they respond to them, giving them shape, form and direction or perhaps just recording them.”
- Ngugi wa Thiong'o ISSUES SOCIAL In Los Angeles, graffiti has become a bridge between a language and an art form. On the streets of L.A. many graffiti artists depict social conflicts from both sides of the argument unlike in Kenya.
This is a an avenue of expression, usually by a group (like the homosexual community) that feels marginalized. However, unlike Kenya, L.A. has a much more socially aware public. Along Nairobi's Muindi Mbingu Street anonymous street artists visualized a number of social follies among the Kenyan People.
It restores dignity to the Kenyan people by keeping the education, despite authorities attempts to keep the people ignorant. POLITICAL In Los Angeles, in light of election season, many graffiti murals depicting both candidates turned up on the streets of L.A.
L.A. is a very diverse community filled with minorities, because of voter ID laws in CA, many artists took to the streets to advocate for marginalized peoples affected by these laws. These acts restore dignity to the minorities that were often overlooked by politicians and reaffirms the strength of their vote. In Nairobi, Kenya political efficacy and political literacy is low, therefore graffiti acts as an avenue for civic education among the people.
Like Los Angeles, in light of their elections, many artists began to create murals in which they explain what is happening in their country. They stress the extent of corruption within their country and the importance to vote these corrupt leaders out.
This for many Kenyans is their only form of political education, it restores dignity to the people who for years have been kept ignorant and illiterate. “…art connects our past to our present as a basis for the future.” Double Conciousness "Twoness—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body"
-W. E. Du Bois The question still remains however, is it even feasible for an African American to merge into society as both an American and as an African, without being held back or looked down upon?
As a result of history there is a long tradition of considering people innately different because of their skin color. It is seen in language, "acting black" or "acting white." By using these terms, society is perpetuating the myth that there is a certain way that a person acts, dresses, and talks, based solely on the shade of their skin. “…art [is] an extension of dreams and imagination."
—Ngugi wa Thiong'o Art is important in terms of individual cultural expression.
It demonstrates a need to evoke real societal and humanistic questions.
Street art like graffiti is the extreme, forcing art and these questions into your everyday lives.
Graffiti acts to engage its audience in the conversation. In order to allow Blacks to be fully American with all the same rights and benefits as any other American, and yet still be African, maintaining rich cultural traditions is necessary like graffiti, music, art, and etc. This view is often in conflict as the American view and as an African view.
Assisting in the perpetuation of a reality in which African Americans are despised and dehumanized . Stacy-Ann Wright Jennifer Ekoma
Mercedes Matz Christian Pearl B.
Zachary A. Jackson Presented by Group 32: