Graffiti language : What is Beyond?
By Dr. H. TAYEB
“ Limage- au sens commun du terme, comme au sens théorique- est outil de communication, signe, parmi tant d’autres, « exprimant des idées » par un processus dynamique d’induction et d’interprétation”3.
We all live in, or near cities marked with graffiti, some of it, is quite stunning to look at for the short time it exists between abatement crews. At first sight, we began this exploration of graffiti as a public fascinating art out of curiosity and a sense of confusion. On one hand we could see the refinement and the obvious craft of some of the works; but on the other, were the unsophisticated, ubiquitous scrawls which smacked of threat ...view middle of the document...
Consequently, many political issues have been denounced through that public art, because simply, the normative culture is afraid of or, is not allowed to do so. So by understanding the graffiti we can unveil the hidden assumptions of these subcultures. They serve as a tool of communication, as they constantly challenge the hegemonic discourses of the dominant. Eventually, they aid in understanding the social and the cultural identity of some marginalized groups.
Furthermore, with the birth of the ‘Hip-Hop culture’, interpreting some graffiti tools through the use of photos shows us how our young men and teenagers do communicate and claim their rights and their status that had been ignored by the other upper classes. This is in one race community; however in the communities where several races react to each other, gangs from different ethnic backgrounds use it to claim space and to express their group or individual identity. And because those messages or rather ‘coded messages’, which are written through that special, free language, are often made without the social constraints that might otherwise limit the free expression of political or controversial thoughts. It helps also to examine and understand the adolescent personality, ancient cultures, sexual attitudes, and gender differences. In addition, it can be also as a battle of survival among and between the self and the other members of the street, according to their sexual, literary, political, and religious/believing grounds.
Besides, the graffiti language represents a communicative opportunity to gather insights into the discursive tensions which are associated with how those individuals treat each other through anonymous texts. “Quoi qu’il en soit, nul ne doute que le langage verbal n’est pas le tout de la communication, ni même de la compréhension”4, declares M. Joly. What distinguishes this opportunity from the others is the fact that it functions both personally and openly (i.e.: socially). Personally, in the sense that graffiti allows the key benefit of anonymity. That is, it provides protection against any form of retribution. Therefore, all can say whatever, however, and...