Talent among taggers


This is in response to a recent Week Ender article, ‘Only pride in our city can halt this virus,’ with a bit of my spare time to look at this issue.

Graffiti is everyone’s problem if people want a good community and keep ratepayer’s costs down.   Image and property values of a district are lowered by graffiti and it attracts even worse behaviour.  Left, it’s seen as being acceptable. 

Perhaps the tagger is making a statement to society in the only way they know.  Not everyone can utilize ‘Letter’s to the Editor.’  Personally, I don’t condone their method, however I do not believe all graffiti artists are unintelligent, some with artistic talent screaming out to be used.  What can be done?

I believe councils need to start the ball rolling but we need community groups (boards maybe) that focus on graffiti amongst other issues.  We need the usual departments and others such as police, social workers, art groups,  local businesses (some of whom could supply product), and volunteers to be interested in controlling graffiti.   

One approach could be to offer taggers a place to express themselves.  The forbidden fruit is palatable, so there is no reward if you allow this to happen.  Fliers may be left where taggers will find them stating where they can arrange to do art work. 

Once the artwork is completed we could publically celebrate the artists and their works and those taggers will encourage others to become serious artists for the recognition received.   Perhaps newspapers could freely feature the artist’s work along with recognition of donors that have supplied art or clean up products. 

Unfortunately not all taggers will get involved and so along side this method we could offer rewards for naming taggers, promptly organise cleanups, with Council covering costs of paint, equipment etc. that is not already donated.  Protectants against future tagging could also be supplied.   Other measures could be to ensure there’s good lighting around, including sensor lighting in not so frequented areas, use of surveillance cameras and to grow plants in front of fences. Prickly ones sound good!.


Warren Slater