What do you think of when you think of graffiti in the United States? If you are like most people, you may think of impoverished/unsafe neighborhoods, gang activity, or unruly adolescents. One of the first things I noticed during the taxi ride from the airport to our hotel was the intense amount of graffiti covering nearly every surface.
When we set out to explore our bearings on foot, we were still discussing the graffiti amongst ourselves. At this time, we were informed that unlike graffiti in the United States, the graffiti here is simply seen as art. It is not a marker of a “bad” neighborhood, nor of poverty; graffiti exists on every wall and surface, from the least wealthy to the most wealthy neighborhoods. It is not gang-related or violence related; Athens is one of the safest cities in the world after Copenhagen. Most of the graffiti doesn’t say crude things; most of it has to do with politics, religion, feelings of love and loss and everything in between.
Graffiti is not bad – it is simply art.
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Until next time,