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Graffiti for social change in Tirana

Coen | 13.07.2006 14:03 | Art and Activism Caravan 2006 | Culture

Ergin, graffiti artist from Tirana:

In Tirana graffiti is a new thing. I started doing graffiti in December 2005, with a group of five. So far the authorities are tolerating us. We do our graffiti in daylight, as an open public statement and to have direct contact with people. The police sometimes shows up and tells us to stop, that's all. Then we continue the next day. We started off with two walls, at Rug Albassan and Rug Kavaja, and now want to spread further through Tirana. We have to see how the authorities react to this. For me, graffiti is a strong form of urban art, it takes art out of galleries, and out of the system. Graffiti gives me a direct relationship with people on the streets. In Albania, it's very important to explain your point of view to people and the street is a good place for this. I want to show that we want to be free in our life to choose, if you don't choose your freedom, you lose it. We hope that a new generation of youth will get more into graffiti. It has a direct impact on society, messages from the street are needed in Albania, with our history of authoritarianism.

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