Why ABU graffiti?

Posted on November 18, 2012


“I fully support kicking umno out, but why vandalise public spaces??” – a comment from John to my “One little, two little, three little Mat ABUs” post.

I picked John’s comment to respond to and ignored the many others because many of the others sounded like UMNO cybertroopers, so I shall not waste my time with them.

John, you and I have access to the internet.

But for every 2 of us with net access, 20, or even more, do not.

How would you get your ‘kick UMNO out’ message to them, John?

Please tell us.

Take out and pay for a ‘Kuburkan UMNO / BN di PRU13’ ad in Utusan Malaysia and TV3?

Arrange that for me, John, and I cease this revolutionary graffiti.

You have my word on this.

Yes, John, what you call vandalism, many others call revolutionary graffiti.

Want to see revolutionary graffiti from other jurisdictions, John?

Falaki Street Wall, Cairo. Photo courtesy of Rowan El Shimi via Flickr.

Syrian President Bachar Al-Assad depicted as Hitler. Photo courtesy of Hanibaael via Flickr.

“Gaddafi’s Republic Leaving Libya,” Tripoli. Photo courtesy of EU Commission DG ECHO.

Street art on Mogamma building in Tahrir Square from the July sit-in, showing Mubarak behind the scenes pulling the SCAF’s marionette strings

Graffiti on Tank in Tahrir Square. Photo courtesy Rowan El Shimi, via Flickr.

Here, read this, John, and then listen to the ‘Sound of Slience’ by Simon & Garfunkel below. Pay particular attention to the lyrics at minute 2.39 of the song and you might be surprised at who did graffiti on the subway and tenement walls.

“…think about graffiti as it appears to us around the world today, in places where painting on a wall is about speaking truth to power. The Arab Spring was marked by spray-painted taunts to dictators, and Haiti’s chaos led to impassioned scrawls. A crackdown against anti-regime graffiti in the town of Daraa was even the inspiration this year for Syria’s tank-defying protest movement. In many of these cases, the artfulness of the graffiti takes a distant second place to what someone is actually trying to say. “Free doom — Get out Hamad,” reads one spray-painted text from Bahrain. During the rebellion in Libya, “Freedom=Aljazeera” written on a wall makes the value of a free press perfectly clear; on another wall, the simple tracing of an AK-47 is enough to invoke an entire ethos of rebellion. In Guatemala City, stenciled portraits of the “disappeared” of Guatemala’s long civil war, with the Spanish words for “Where are they?” written below, stand as eloquent witness to one of the country’s most crucial concerns”Revolution in a Can

Now, maybe we can understand why the UMNO cybertroopers are coming in here and protesting that the ABU revolutionary graffiti is vandalism.

They’ve seen how it worked elsewhere.