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by Jef Aerosol at flickr.com
Vandalism or Art: the Dilemma of Graffiti
Graffiti is a well-known type of art in most of the world, with cities like New York being infested with them. However, in other places of the world, graffiti is considered to be a crime (vandalism, specifically). But after all, what is graffiti? Is it a way of expressing feelings and thoughts through visual stimulation, or just an ugly painting on a wall that contributes to the degradation of cities? For me, art can be literally anything, from a glorious painting to a plastic cup. It can have absolutely no meaning, and it will still be art as long as you tell me the object in question is considered to be art. But that might not be the perspective of someone else, which is totally fine. And that is the case of some cultures who see graffiti as a form of vandalism instead of art. What I want to say is that, in my opinion, graffiti is, in fact, art. But it may not be the case somewhere else, though. And so, even though in a country graffiti is legal, in another one it might be seen as an act of vandalism. That’s something that comes from the culture of a people, and I prefer to respect the traditions of a country.
Today you can´t gossip about the president. Today there is only one political party. Today women can´t vote. Today you can´t get divorced. Today there is no minimum wage. Today groups of people are not allowed to come together to talk or discuss ideas. Obviously this is not today but it was the reality in Portugal before the 25th of April of 1974. Would you want to live like they did? The answer is probably no. Every year, on this date, we the Portuguese, celebrate above all our freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of vote. Freedom of marriage. Freedom of going to the street and demonstrate in favour of the rights you think you should have as a human being . On the dawn of the 25th of April of 1974, the song “Grândola Vila Morena” by Zeca Afonso, was the password for the beginning of our amazing revolution. The strong line “O povo é quem mais ordena” quickly swept the whole country. The captain Salgueiro Maia responsible for the operation followed by a cavalry of tanks left “Santarém” and marched to Lisbon forming a siege around the police headquarters place where Marcelo Caetano, the successor of António Salazar, who sustained a dictatorship in our country that lasted 41 years. All over the country people and soldiers came to the streets proclaiming freedom. This movement is remembered to this day as “Revolução dos Cravos”. It was given this name because the people offered carnations to the soldiers as a message of acknowledgment and these placed their flowers on their weapons to represent a peaceful revolution that ended up with only 4 casualties. To this day, the 25th of April serves as a reminder so the Portuguese will never fall into a dictatorship again. I hope you will always remember this day and say “Viva a Liberdade!”.