An insription or a mark made on a wall can have an everlasting impact -be it the irreverent scrawl in a classroom or the cliched lovers heart carved at tourist spots or the subversive spraypaint jobs along pedestrian walkways.


The idea of graffiti in urban metropolises does, admittedly,often come close to the defacement and vandalism-as attested by reports of artists like banksy being detained by authorities on their clandestine night runs.


In Bengaluru howerver , graffiti makes its presence felt in a positive manner and even tends to play a benefical role- to beautify role to beautify and spruce up the otherwise eyesore streches of the city's landscape.Most of the credit goes to local cultural groups and art collectives conducting independent and, at times collaborative projects.


The language of art appreciation takes a back seat, quite literally, on a cab ride from the airport into bangaluru city. The road is lined with assorted graffiti and street art- most of it "pleasantly colourful."

Thankfully ,theres"s more to explore as far Bangaluru"s street art is concerned. even if, for the most part, it serves the explicit purpose of drawing peoples attention away from unsightly uncared for nooks and corners of old neighbourhoods and especially, from heaps of uncleared garbage. Some of the works plasterning the walls com with emphatic messages such as those of Shilo, Shiv Suleman, part of the fearless colllective which brings together over 400 artists in the country and works with a core gropup of volunteers including Shalaka Pai, Aarthi Parthasarathy, Kasha Frese and Arun Chandra Sekhar,to provide a voice for womens rights against gender violence.


These murals include empowering messages underscoring the need for safe spaces for women and urging them to reclaim the streets. Suleman's frescoes fit well as public art landmarks serving to inspire students of all girls jyoti niwas colllege inkoramgala and visitors at the bustling flower market in the KR market area where the group frequently conducts community based projects.


Intelligent graffiti has an unexpected quality -of sneakily offering a thought and an alternative point of view to create a lasting impression on the minds of citizens. The works certainely do the job of informing people who might not be in the know while also ensuring a message that rings loud and true.


- Joy Sen

- Images: Google