Last week, my cycling comrade Meg Brennan and I sat down to record our second drunken bike pod cast. The conversation tended to ramble into territory concerning cultures of community resistance to things like capital-driven gentrification. We also discussed how different forms of sanctioned and unsanctioned street art can play a roll in building strong communities, empowering them in the process.
While many make clear definition between legal murals and illegal art, and their respective roles, personally I see the value of both, as they often communicate vastly different concepts and can convey radically diverse sets of values.
As I wrote in a guest post for the Portland Street Art Alliance last year, graffiti’s true power lies in its ability to take control away from the homeowners associations, the city halls, the developers, the capitalists – and return it where where power rightly belongs, in the hands of the people. The mainstream media narrative will likely always be hostile to street art of a rebellions nature, and rightly so.