Graffiti is a way of communication that uses the city as a stage and through which citizenship exercises their freedom of speech by publicly but anonymously denounces something, usually acting under a nickname. Graffiti is a critical image of society as a newspaper cartoons.
When speaking of graffiti is important to have in mind that it is not possible to reduce the matter to the fact of «scratching» walls to show a disagreement or an act of vandalism. Graffiti is an element that manages to revitalize dark corners and unite young people around cultural practices. From its contemporary origin, linked to counterculture movements of postwar Europe and the United States (remembering that since classical times, the walls were a refuge to exalt what later would be considered prohibited, such as erotic murals of Pompeii), graffiti has been a cultural practice that suggests other ways of appropriating the city, to vindicate the public space as a space of citizenship.
It is a way «take the floor». Those who can neither express themselves in the mainstream media nor to take a pen and draw a version of reality in a cartoon, point to other places to express themselves.
If someone feels the need to take the floor and cry out, a cry of rebellious, of poetry, but above all, of questioning, what can and should be the response of society and its institutions? The response of the institutions created to contribute to the social coexistence cannot be systematically silence the social diversity and dissent.
By Decree 75 of 2013, the Mayor of Bogotá promotes artistic and responsible practice of graffiti in the city. Thus the Bogotá´s Mayor seeks to take interest of the practice from another approach adopting mechanisms that recognize the existence of new cultural and artistic practices, opening spaces for the transgression.
The graffiti expresses, point out problems, wishes and desires. It is a form of urban writing that bursts into the everyday and resonates in the consciousness. It is a visual scream that challenges us and invites us to reflect on the city and ourselves.
In Bogotá we found graffiti that refers to the desires of society to live in peace, that claim the right to memory, the right of women to live a life free from violence, the right to not forget the victims of the arm conflict, the right to the property of land, graffiti denouncing human rights violations such as the genocide against the Patriotic Union, and graffiti that are a tribute to people killed in Bogota such as the humorist Jaime Garzón, and so on.
Thus, in Bogota´s streets, on its walls, democracy expresses itself in more or less visible forms. That is why we can speak about the graffiti as the art of the denouncing.

Written by Carmen Miguel

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