Graffiti debate: the stands of the local business owners
Different people view graffiti in different perspectives. Some people in society view
graffiti as a pollution, criminal and an eyesore. The way people perceive this defers and it is not a
crime for them to have these opinions and views. The magnitude of this has been witnessed in
the setting up of laws and legislations concerning graffiti. For instance, some of the cities such
as King City are debating new anti-graffiti by laws something that is geared to elicit mixed
GRAFFITI DEBATE: THE STANDS OF THE LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS 2
reaction. This discussion develops its argument on graffiti from the perspective of the Local
Business Owners Association. The paper deliberates on the arguments for and against this issue.
Graffiti are graphical sketches usually on vantage locations in urban centers. The
proponents of these graffiti argue, it is their way of expressing their minds on various aspects
that concern the society (Ken, 2006). They use this platform to send a message to the authorities
on specific aspects in the society that they found not appropriate. However, opponents have
claimed that individuals that have criminal records and not concerned about the welfare of the
people do these.
The local Business Owners are important segment in the society that has their voice on
the graffiti. This business owners association always advocates for the welfare of their businesses
in various location. The fact that graffiti is associated with vandalisms and criminal is an issue of
concern to this business owners association. Security is a key concern for many businesses in the
urban centers and therefore, most of them are adamant about these graffiti (Arifa & Paul, 2008).
Graffiti are associated with hooliganism and destruction. This is an act that is done mostly by
youths and is carried out at night. This therefore, provides an opportunity for these youths to
engage in criminal activities in the urban centers. Even if those that draw this graffiti do not
commit crime, they necessitate criminal as criminal groups get an opportunity to engage in their
Graffiti are as well methods that people my trigger an appraisal against the government
or certain category of people. Many states face different problems such as youth unemployment,
corruption, crime, drug abuse, poor leadership and such. This therefore, provides an opportunity
for the youths to use them to trigger a call to an action. Government may face challenges in
governance if these graffiti’s are used to trigger an appraisal against it. Graffiti are therefore a
GRAFFITI DEBATE: THE STANDS OF THE LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS 3
means of communicating certain ideas and thoughts (Banksy, 2005). People in a country will
use this to begin an appraisal that may lead to disruption of the businesses. Political instability is
a threat to businesses. During such moments, business loses lots of revenue through vandalism
and hooliganism. Lots of property is destroyed and many of the shops are attacked. Doing
business during such moments becomes a nightmare therefore; most of the local business owners
association may not support these graffiti on grounds that they trigger violence among the
citizens. They pose a threat to their business something that is not supported by many
Many business owners association would prefer other means of communicating rather
than graffiti. The youths can voice their concerns to the authorities through formal means such
as through discussions and meetings (Ganz, 2004). Using graffiti arouses emotions in the
members of the public. When this emotion goes beyond their control, it results to destruction.
The reason why most states are formulating anti-graffiti laws is to help address such concerns
that lead to huge consequences on the economy of the country as a whole.
In some society, graffiti is accepted as part of the people culture. They are used as a
source of expression or a source of culture and therefore, people views them positively (Alice,
(2008). Such graffiti therefore are not emotive but depict the rich culture and the way people lead
their lives. Such graffiti are not harmful to the business owners and therefore are embraced
because of the facts that they showcase the culture of the people. Some still think are that graffiti
are one of the ways of artistic expression and part of the urban culture (Koon-Hwee, 2001).
Such arguments therefore, have made graffiti to be viewed positively. Still some of the states
responsible for managing cities view graffiti as unlawful act. It makes the city look untidy and
therefore oppose this form of art.
GRAFFITI DEBATE: THE STANDS OF THE LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS 4
What makes graffiti art is the message they convey to the members of the public. When
they convey positive messages that exemplifies on the values and cultures of the people, they
promote unity and culture of the people. This is therefore viewed as an art. However, when they
convey a negative message, or influence youths and citizens to up rise against the government to
cause war and fighting then it makes it vandalism (Tierney, 2005). Messages that inform the
public on important aspects such as good governance and corruption in society are important as
they help to transform the society. However, if they are used to propagate crimes and vandalism,
then it becomes apparent that they are perpetrating crimes and vandalisms. Therefore, this
contributes to the considerations of whether the graffiti are appropriate “in place” or
inappropriate “out of place” (Ella, 2007).
If these graffiti are out of place, various parties such as the leadership, business
associations and other stakeholders will raise the red flag and require that immediate action is
taken to avoid them.
Even though, these graffiti are perceived differently among the members of the society,
it is important that an amicable solution is reached to ensure that these graffiti are not used to
trigger conflict and crime but to promote values and cultures of the people. Those opposed and
those supporting them need to come together and deliberate on the purpose of using graffiti. This
will also help to alleviate misunderstanding between the members of the community. I do
support the opposing stands of the local business owners about these graffiti’s especially if they
are likely to promote violence and vandalism. Business owners have a reason to be worried
about the safety of their business if these graffiti perpetrated crime and hooliganism.
GRAFFITI DEBATE: THE STANDS OF THE LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS 5
Alice, F. (2008). How the Tate got streetwise, The Observer, Sunday 11 May 2008
Arifa, A., & Paul, V. (2008). “Graffiti: Street art – or crime?” The Independent, Wednesday, 16
Banksy, K. (2005). Wall and Piece. New York: Random House UK.
Ella, C. (2007). Framing [Con]text: Graffiti and Place” Space and Culture, 10:145-169.
Ganz, N. (2004). Graffiti World. New York. Abrams.
GRAFFITI DEBATE: THE STANDS OF THE LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS 6
Ken, J. (2006). “When Aerosol Outlaws Became Insiders: Graffiti Art at the Brooklyn
Museum,” NY Times June 30, 2006.
Koon-Hwee, K. (2001). Adolescents and Graffiti, Art Education, 54(1):18-23